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St Francis Xavier Cathedral – Specialist Lighting

Completion year 2017

Key People

Grant Thornton

Structural Project Engineer, Principal

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Completed in 1938, St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Geraldton is a heritage gem, designed by architect Monsignor Hawes and regarded as his finest work, but it subsequently fell into disrepair. Funded by public donations in addition to State and Lottery funding, WGE provided staged consultancy services over 7 years to undertake the necessary repairs, refurbishment and construction works, providing a new heritage centre with a café as well as securing the cathedral’s structural integrity.

WGE’s electrical team undertook an upgrade within the cathedral, involving a new internal lighting and audio-visual system plus addressing the main power grids. The challenge here was to preserve the heritage fabric of the building whilst discretely accommodating the required upgrades. A cable trench was established when flooring was replaced to facilitate future access and services were closely co-ordinated with the architect. The internal restoration of the space to original colours and finishes was carefully highlighted with the careful placement of complementary lighting.

Visual enhancement of the cathedral was also achieved externally via lighting, involving extensive on-the-spot testing to achieve a welcoming yet restrained ambience. An intelligent lighting control system was installed providing flexibility to control both lights and A/V via iPad. The new A/V system features microphones, hearing induction loops, digital display and portable TV screens, while mic points and outlets are located externally for outdoor events and service overspill.

Works to the new museum and café included a flexible lighting arrangement to accommodate changes within the exhibit space and displays.