Heritage, Ireland, Premier Construction, RIBA Awards

Hope and Glory: Restoring Clonard Church

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Church of the Most Holy Redeemer-Belfast - RIBA Awards 2013

Located in west Belfast, The Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, Clonard – is a magnificent building dating back to 1911. Over the past few years Clonard Church has been the subject of an extensive restoration scheme which has restored and rejuvenated the building for generations to come. 

The first phase of works, which comprised roof repairs and stonework restoration works, was completed in 2009. The second phase of the refurbishment, which involved a major internal restoration, began in March 2011 and was completed in time for St Patrick’s Day 2012.

Killowen Contracts Ltd was the main contractor on the project, whilst Consarc Design Group provided all architectural services. Consarc Design Group is a professional design consultancy practice, offering services in architecture, historic building conservation, quantity surveying and project management.

Church of the Most Holy Redeemer-Belfast - RIBA Awards 2013

Speaking to Premier Construction about the award-winning project, Consarc Design Group Project Architect, Bronagh Lynch, said:

“Over the last 100 years Clonard Church had become tired and was in desperate need of restoration. During the 1970s the church had been reordered, but had never received the restoration that it required. This project – which was divided into two phases – represented the culmination of a lot of hard work to transform the church, taking it back to its former glory and giving it a new lease of life. In the process we also wanted the building to become more energy efficient, making it a building that could remain steeped in history but at the same time remain forward thinking.”

Brian McGivern of Killowen Contracts Ltd, added:

“Following successful completion of Phase One we were appointed to complete Phase Two, which focused on a complete internal restoration. The scope of works for this phase of the restoration included redecoration to all ceilings and plastered walls; cleaning and restoring all mosaics and stonework within the church interior; the installation of new flooring with a tiled finish to the main body of the church; and the restoration of confessionals, pews and kneelers. In addition, new heating, lighting and a PA system was installed throughout the church, whilst some hard landscaping work and the restoration of a few external areas rounded out the phase.”

Church of the Most Holy Redeemer-Belfast - RIBA Awards 2013

Brian added:

“Killowen Contracts Ltd was delighted to be the main contractor on the restoration of the Clonard Church.”

Before any work took place on the project a detailed survey was conducted to ascertain they key focus of the restoration scheme. Carpets were then removed, original tiles were restored and the sanctuary was reordered.

A major aspect of the work was the installation of energy efficient underfloor heating. Once this was completed a new tiled floor was fitted around the seating area, which was designed to match the pattern of the existing flooring.

To complete the interior work new lighting was fitted to enhance and highlight the church’s magnificent makeover.

Bronagh said:

“This project was very important for us to be involved in. We were selected specifically because of our specialities in conservation work. Clonard Church is very well known within the local community and the surrounding area, so it was a great honour and a delight for us to be involved.

Church of the Most Holy Redeemer-Belfast - RIBA Awards 2013

“To be a part of a project that has now won an RIBA Regional Award is very rewarding for us. This is a huge achievement and the award also recognises the hard work and commitment from the Church and the Church community to deliver such a high quality restoration.”

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