YMCA Building in Wolverhampton
Architect - BNP Architects
Brickwork contractors - JC Brickwork Ltd
Brick - Ketley Staffordshire blue multi Class A engineering facing bricks
The new YMCA building in Wolverhampton lies in a prominant position off the ring road, on the site of the former bus depot, next to the Grade II listed former Royal Hospital building. Architects BPN had used a blue brick for another YMCA scheme at West Bromwich and they liked the idea of continuing the aesthetic across this building also. Comparing samples of Ketley's Staffordshire blue multi bricks with the blue brick they had used for the West Bromwich project, the architects found that the Ketley Staffordshire blue multi had more tonal variation. The blue colour of a Ketley brick is produced by carefully controlling the temperature and the amount of oxygen in the kiln. It is a skill developed over a long history of brick making, using an iron rich Etruria marl clay. These blue multi's have more colour variation than Ketley's traditional Staffordshire blue bricks and are particularly unique.
Architects BPN really liked the colour of the Ketley blue multi's, and felt that the tonal variations would add more interest to the building as well as linking it to the other buildings on site. The blue brick building is prominant, and the inset window reveals and protruding columns of brickwork add further interest creating shadows on the facade.
The whole new scheme at Cleveland Road was led by YMCA Black Country Group and Jessup Brothers Ltd. It serves as the YMCA Administrative HQ for operations across the Black Country, but provides 63 studio/apartments for young professionals and workers, a 115 place day nursery for local families & city working families, a community training area providing learning & skills programmes and commercial units for local services.