This project ensured that the future of one of Waterford’s iconic landmark buildings, and a Protected Structure – the Sacred Heart Church – has been secured for decades to come following an essential, complete building refurbishment, addressing the external and internal building envelope.
The church presented a unique design and building for the 1970s, and was heralded as a stimulus of the concrete construction for churches at that time. The roof consists of massive, structural concrete, tapered beams; with individual flat-roofed, tiered elements – with the resulting roof-design actually containing 77 No. individual roof elements (a complex shaped roof area of approx. ¾ of an acre [3,000m²], which are interlaced with Dalle de Verre stained glass panels. The combination of these elements – i.e., the exposed concrete beams, the numerous individual roofs, and the interlacing of 108 No. stained glass panels – had, with time, resulted in a wide variety of building defects which were required to be resolved – which presented a challenge refurbishment project to address. The project also required internal works, and the replacement of underfloor blown hot air heating system.
CJFA delivered an innovative approach to ensure that the project would be carried out with respect for the religious nature of the building, and its day-to-day uses – ensuring the church remaining in full operation, and that the works did not impact upon daily ceremonies (i.e. for daily mass, funerals, baptisms, wedding ceremonies and Sunday mass) – all of which had to be worked around and thoroughly thought out, and managed, with comprehensive design and construction solutions. The resultant essential structural repairs and refurbishment project, delivered an exceptional, crisp, and subtle aesthetic facelift to this 50 year old building – reinforcing and enhancing its landmark status within Waterford City, without removing any of its original character.