Isles of Scilly, Porthcressa Beach – New Community Buildings

Isles of Scilly, Porthcressa Beach – New Community Buildings

On completion of the Five Islands School with Kier Construction, our next project on the Islands involved regeneration works fronting Porthcressa Beach. (The project is currently under construction). Lessons-learnt from building the school, determined the design and procurement method for the buildings. The buildings have been designed to enable their principal elements to be shipped over from the mainland, providing efficient & economic build solutions to the many practical & economic problems involved in building off the mainland.

Island working, extreme weather conditions and varying ground conditions have all provided challenges requiring bespoke construction detailing to achieve weather-tight construction.

The three buildings are very different in nature and therefore required individual design solutions. The works consist of steel-framed live/work units, conversion of an old granite barn into a new library and registry office and new beach-side public amenities to replace outdated facilities.

The new library consists of the conversion of an existing granite barn and small extension. Ensuring that inherent dampness within the walls, combined with its adjacency to the beech did not compromise the strict environmental requirements of a library was vital. Extensive structural works including re-roofing of the main structure were required to enable a new first floor to be inserted within the existing fabric. The single storey extension with green roof provides much-needed accommodation for a registry with fantastic views.

The new curvy granite-clad public amenity building incorporates modern public facilities and an observation room offering unobstructed views out over the beach whilst the indigenous nature roof provides continuation of the new soft landscaping scheme that knits the three buildings together.

Opposite the new entrance to the library is located a three storey steel-framed building incorporating three new live/work units. The render & timber clad facade and slate pitched roof maintains a contemporary link with the local buildings. Piled foundations were required to overcome the problems associated with building on what was historically part of the beach.


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