Office Buildings, St. John's Square

These offices received a Civic Trust commendation when they were new in 1969.  The citation reads:  "This is a courageous attempt to re-establish an 18th century Square (with a church in the centre), which was probably more than half destroyed before this scheme was begun.  However, the new work has a strong link in scale and rhythm with the 18th century practice and the colour related well with the church and surroundings.  It is to be hoped that, with the success of this north side of the square, something can be done to the south side, ripped open to form a through-road prairie.  A protective belt of trees would help to maintain the closed character of the original concept.  Hope stirs with this scheme as it indicates how much can be saved when so much seems to be lost.  If only the same attitude of mind had prevailed when the buildings flanking the new work (and pre-dating it by only a relatively few years) had been rebuilt.  If only, too, the new road had paid some respect to the square it was violating: a chance and opportunity still remain as it is not yet complete".  

The owner responsible for this development was Wolverhampton Borough Council and the architects were Twentyman, Percy and Partners of Wolverhampton.  The contractors were the Wolverhampton Public Works Department.

The architecture and the architectural unity of St. John's Square may have been over-rated; and the fact that, by the 1960s most of it was derelict and industrial, not residential, is often forgotten. At the time the area probably looked like a suitably derelict area to put a ring road through. But there is no doubt that a whole hearted restoration scheme would have produced a remarkable asset.  The flanking buildings referred to (presumably those in the Square and in Bond Street) are certainly very ordinary; and although trees have grown and that stretch of ring road of itself looks very nice, there is still no sense of an urban square on that side.  All we are left with is these buildings, happily fitting in with Georgian houses which no longer exist.

The church in the centre of the Square, now known as St. John's in the Square, also got an award for restoration work.

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