Completion of the Porthcressa Beach Front Regeneration was recently celebrated on the Isles of Scilly and captured for posterity by “Scilly Today“. Grainge Architects worked closely with Kier Western to deliver the scheme and are we are justifiably proud of the finished article.
Island working, extreme weather conditions and challenging ground conditions all provided challenges requiring bespoke construction detailing to achieve the original vision. All three buildings are located on or adjacent to Porthcressa Beach and are subject to the extreme weather this location can bring.
Lessons learnt from the construction of the Five Islands School influenced the design and procurement with the use of lightweight, readily transportable materials where possible. In addition the re-use of existing materials helped provide an efficient and economic build that worked with the tight program and limited site storage.
The new library & registry office evolved from the conversion of an existing two-storey granite-built bulb store. The building required specialist tanking solutions to ensure that inherent dampness within the walls combined with its adjacency to the beach did not compromise the strict environmental requirements of a library. Extensive structural works, including total re-roofing of the main structure, were required to enable a new first floor to be inserted within the existing fabric. Construction was managed so as to ensure adjacent businesses being able to stay open. A single storey extension with nature roof provides much-needed accommodation for a registry office with fantastic views out over Porthcressa beach.
The new public amenity building combines modern public facilities (accessible WCs & showers) with an observation room offering panoramic views out over the beach. The choice of external materials consists of a combination of reclaimed granite & rendered walls topped with a curved-profile roof with an indigenous nature roof covering.
Opposite the new entrance to the library is located a three storey steel-framed building incorporating new work-live units. The render & timber clad facade and slate pitched roof maintains a contemporary link with the local buildings. Piled foundations were required so as to overcome the problems associated with building on what was formerly a beach.