GDS ArcSystem Retrofit Wows Holy Trinity Church

Holy Trinity Church in Frome, part of The Church of England, was built by the architect H.E. Goodridge in the middle part of the nineteenth century. This Grade II listed building is noteworthy for a few reasons, not least that where traditionally a church would be expected to face east, Holy Trinity faces northwest.

Its unique collection of Victorian windows designed by pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones and made by William Morris, add to the interest at this very active and vibrant community church. In 2008, Architects Benjamin and Beauchamp won a competition to design an extensive re-ordering of the interior of this large church.

Their scheme involved the creation of some new spaces within a more flexible interior that would better suit the changing needs of a contemporary church. Any scheme in a historic, listed building requires painstaking attention to heritage and conservation details. In most cases the original fabric of the building must not be altered. Engaging the right contractors for the work is essential and Benjamin and Beauchamp have extensive experience of such sites. Once the project received the go-ahead, the architects consulted with integrators Enlightened about an appropriate lighting scheme that would best bring to life the new interior.

Enlightened had first come to the client’s attention following an installation at another house of worship in Somerset and proposed a design that perfectly met the church’s requirements using GDS ArcSystem products. The aim of the project was to create a light, airy and flexible space that was warm and welcoming for all visitors to this historic building. The project had to deliver a 21st century setting whilst respecting the Victorian heritage, particularly the Burne-Jones windows. All works were to have the minimum possible structural and aesthetic impact, in line with the building’s listed status.

GDS ArcSystem fixtures were used throughout to obtain the desired feel and retain the atmosphere of the church. A total of 16 ArcSysyem Pro 4 Cell fittings were used of varying beam angles. The wireless nature of the fittings made them ideal for the retrofit requirements of the building and everyone involved with the project was very pleased with the outcome.

Graham Owen, Vicar at Holy Trinity was thrilled: “I am absolutely delighted with the way the way the project has turned out. It’s actually quite overwhelming. The overall effect is quite stunning and the most common word by people visiting the church is ‘Wow'”.

Matt Lloyd, Managing Director at GDS stated: “Holy Trinity is a fantastic setting and the whole project to redesign its interior has been a great success. Once again we have seen ArcSystem installed using wireless control to enable a period building to retrofit to LED technology and enhance its appearance, with negligible impact on the fabric of the building. This has enabled visitors and congregation to experience Holy Trinity’s warm and welcoming surroundings and fully appreciate the church’s splendid atmosphere.

This is just one of many houses of worship that have installed ArcSystem, benefitting not only from its high quality and low impact but the environmental and economic dividends it offers Simon Marcus, Managing Director of Enlightened designed the scheme and explained the choice of ArcSystem:

“We were recommended to the client following a previous design and install at a church in Taunton and produced proposals and a lighting design for Holy Trinity. ArcSystem perfectly met my requirements – I needed specific beam angles, excellent colour rendering and compact design, all of which ArcSystem gave me. In addition I needed emergency lighting provision which was incorporated into some of the fittings. The client was very happy with the results and GDS were, as ever, helpful and attentive to our needs”.

The Holy Trinity project is another great illustration of how GDS products can enable period buildings to enjoy all the benefits of LED without compromising any of their historical features.