‘It shows the importance of community assets and how architecture should be’
Jubilee Pool, Penzance, Cornwall
Scott Whitby Studio for Jubilee Pool Penzance
Contract cost Confidential
Described as one of the jewels in Penzance’s crown, the art-deco Jubilee Pool opened in 1935, marking King George V’s Silver Jubilee at a time when the town was one of the country’s premier holiday resorts.
After being battered by years of Atlantic storms, by 2014 the pool had fallen into a state of serious disrepair and was threatened with closure. However, the local community as well as architect Scott Whitby Studio and other organisations campaigned and championed the building, saving it and securing its future. In 2017, a community-run charity purchased the pool and set about raising £1.8 million with significant investment from Cornwall Council, Penzance Town Council and the EU, as well as £600,000 raised through a community share offer.
The objective was to transform the pool into a year-round community hub that would also attract visitors from outside of the region. This has been achieved via a three-pronged approach, including creating a section of the pool that is geothermally heated via a new 410m-deep well, an improved café and a community space that can be used for events and local groups, and doubles as a gift shop, with an adjacent treatment room that opens up experiential opportunities.
MacEwan Awards judge and BDP associate architect Joan Kerr commented: ‘The project was so fought for by the community and funded by the community. There are new-build aspects to it, but it is also a restoration. I think it will be really well used and the lasting impact of bringing this building and piece of heritage back to life is very clear. It shows the importance of community assets and how architecture should be, involving the community.’
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Client Jubilee Pool Penzance
Quantity surveyor (RIBA Stage 2) PT Projects
Structural and services engineer WebbYates Engineers
Project manager/quantity surveyor Fox Cornwall
Main contractor Catling Construction
Geothermal engineering GEON - GEL Geothermal Engineering/Arup