The Emporium

Conservation consultancy to restore the former Christopher Wray Lighting Factory and Emporium




City Centre, Birmingham


Conservation Consultant

RIBA Work Stage


The Grade II Listed former Christopher Wray lighting buildings were in danger of being demolished until Czero took on the site. A new residential tower for students has been built next to them to fund the restoration of these significant buildings. We have provided conservation consultancy services to help bring these buildings back into use.

What started as a domestic terrace in the mid 18th Century, has become a blend of 19th Century workshops and industrial buildings. The evolution of the site reflects Birmingham’s industrial development as a city. From 2005, the Grade II listed building sat vacant and exposed to the elements; causing a significant amount of damage. Czero became involved with the site and was determined to find a way to make restoration of the buildings viable. Plans were drawn up by IDP for a student residential tower to sit alongside the listed buildings. The Victorian workshops to the rear of the site were incorporated within the designs to provide residential and recreation spaces for students.


We are working with the team to restore the Georgian houses. These houses front what remains of Bartholomew Row and are probably the oldest surviving examples from this period in the city centre. They have been altered repeatedly across the centuries to suit different uses, and a great deal of research has been required to identify which elements to keep and restore, and which to remove. In addition, the buildings are being converted to office use, so plans have had to be developed that allow for a modern office operation, whilst respecting the heritage of the building.


If you would like to see more about the project, visit Saving Bartholomew Row.