Coming up to Christmas it seemed a fitting time to look back over this years recently completed projects. Whilst there are many exciting schemes that have come to fruition this year, there are far too many to sensibly re-evaluate here, so we decided to pick one that seems to sum up so much that is positive about architecture and the benefits good design can bring to a scheme.
The St Agnes Island Hall on the Isles of Scilly exemplifies good architectural design delivered under challenging circumstances. The project was developed to planning by BPWC architects, with Grainge Architects then taking over to lead the scheme through construction on site. Being located 25 miles off the Cornish coast made the logistics of the build more than a little tricky at times. The contractor, Dawnus Construction worked tirelessly to ensure building materials, as well as labour were available on time to allow the works to progress.
The Island Hall incorporates flexible start up workspace units, office space, community hall and exhibition areas – all spaces that the community on the Island was distinctly short of and will be sure to help provide a focus for the community in the future. In addition to the community use, the new hall provides much needed opportunities for business and employment in one of Cornwall & the UK’s most remote locations.
The existing historic community hall was repaired and refurbished to improve layout, insulation, services and general level of repair, and to provide a true 21st century community hub, and as part of the redevelopment, a new building was added on to extend the facilities. The new extension incorporates the main workspaces and exhibition space as well as kitchen, toilets and storage.
The design utilises sustainable, low carbon design techniques based on Passihaus and BREEAM principles. High levels of insulation, robust, easily maintainable and locally appropriate materials are used throughout. The modular timber frame of the new build was chosen for both it’s sustainability as well as transportability and helps contribute towards a warm and inviting internal ambience to the spaces.
Creation of a highly flexible building was paramount given the many differing potential uses for the hall. The new building achieves this through its central community space with sliding partitions and with cellular work units branching off this main space. Multiple subdivision of the internal layout combined with individual external doors to workspaces provides the ample flexibility of internal use.
The project was funded through a mix of community funds and Local Action Group Funding (RDPE) as well as a significant contribution from the ERDF Convergence fund.
The final built result is certainly a delight and one that will function as a key part of the island community for years to come.
Many thanks to Graham Gaunt photography for some fantastic shots of the completed building.