Since 2013, we have worked with our client Holy Trinity Development to transform Hull Minster. We were awarded the project through a national design competition and have supported the client to deliver three phases of development over a 10-year period. Holy Trinity is a 700-year old, Grade I-Listed church – the largest parish church in the country. Serious concerns over the financial sustainability of the church led to the inception of a Development Board and an aspiration to deliver a transformational project to safeguard the long-term future of the church within its community. The final phase of development was completed in late 2022 and concluded the 12-year project for the Minster.
Phase 1 – Trinity Square
Our initial competition proposal identified the potential of re-conceptualising the Market Square to restore the original setting of the Church and to enhance planned cultural activities. The Minster and Hull City Council worked together to develop this phase with Bauman Lyons collaborating with ReForm Landscape Architects to deliver the concept. A transformational change was delivered through the removal of the church wall to the west side of the church which had created a barrier between the church and the rest of the city. A brass inlay was laid in the new paving to represent this historic line of church boundary wall.
Phase 2 – Internal re-ordering
The Minster’s ability to sustain its future was seriously restricted by the extensive internal arrangement of pews. This phase of development looked at a comprehensive internal re-ordering to create a flexible internal Nave to allow not only for modern services but concerts and other cultural events to help sustain and redefine the Minster as a destination in the Old Town. The removal of pews from the nave was carefully negotiated with the DAC and amenities societies. The proposals looked to retain the maximum number of the intricate, carved pew ends and reconfigure them into a new arrangement. This allowed for both the clearing of the Nave and the retention of important, historic fabric.
Additional sustainability improvements were delivered which included a new, glazed Narthex structure within the entrance from the west doors which allowed for the existing doors to be held open to Trinity Square, providing a more inviting entrance to the city whilst minimising draughts and heat loss to the building. The nave flooring was replaced, with a detail developed that delivered thermal insulation within the limited available depth, and new underfloor heating provided to deliver a more comfortable space within the church.
Holy Trinity Church was bestowed the status of Hull Minster in May 2017 in recognition of the strength of its role in the community facilitated by the re-ordering.
Phase 3 – Trinity Room extension
The third phase of redevelopment delivered the remainder of the original transformation concept. The Trinity Room extension built on the success of the previous two phases with the aim to truly open the activities of the Minster to the wider city and communities. Sited to the south elevation of the Minster, the Trinity Room extension is designed to provide a welcoming face which opens on to Trinity Square and to serve as a new addition to the overall story and journey around the Minster. The extension was designed with flexibility in mind. Its primary use accommodates a new cafe and servery which faces the square and can also be easily rearranged for use for events, worship and outreach. This phase also delivered new WCs, storage and a new plant room to support the whole building, new and existing. Heritage stories are at the heart of the Minster and the new extensions will accommodate heritage interpretation and displays, including finds from the archaeological excavations.
The new building was designed to sit contextually next to the existing Minster, referencing the existing through the approach to craft and details, but not competing with the original building. A calm, carefully considered palette of materials has been used internally and externally, including oak interiors, and a patinated brass ‘tracery’ screen which wraps around the glazing of the extension and references the stone traceries of the magnificent Nave windows.
The new glazed Trinity Room, together with the transparent narthex, enables activity within the church to spill out onto the square as well as encouraging the community to enter the Church.
‘Over the last few years, me and my colleagues at the Diocese of York have had the pleasure of working with Bauman Lyons on a major scheme of re-ordering and development works to Hull Minster – one of England’s really great medieval churches. Their attitude was always creative and flexible – keenly aware of the huge sensitivities and challenges of working in an important historic context – and they were able to collaborate closely and effectively with the clients, the church planning system and the Inspecting Architect. On a scheme of this type and unusual scale, compromises are inevitable. Bauman Lyons worked with us to arrive at difficult, hard-won solutions without any loss of integrity or quality.’
Phil Thomas, Former Diocesan Church Buildings Senior Advisor to the DAC
- We developed a successful, long-term relationship with the client to support them through three phases of development over a 10-year period.
- We developed and helped to guide the project through a complex process of fundraising, lengthy negotiations with historic and conservation consultees and sensitive alignments with City of Culture 2017 timescales and programme.
- Worked closely and collaboratively with the Church Architect Ferrey and Mennim who undertook a series of fabric repairs and renovations to the Minster, including refurbishments of the existing kitchen and Choir Vestry.
- Successfully collaborated with landscape designers, Re-Form, to deliver the Trinity Square transformation.
- Incorporated a series of sustainability and comfort improvements, including a insulation and underfloor heating system into historic and significant fabric.
- Developed a scheme to deliver improvements to facilities, including a purpose-built cafe and heritage room, a full fitted kitchen, new WCs, and new plant room.
- We worked with fabricators to produce 1:1 mock-ups of the proposed brass tracery screen to review with the client, support discussions with DAC and to refine details prior to construction.
Architectural Photography: Nick Dearden – Building Narratives
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