Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Information about this scheme
Located within the World Heritage Site of the Camborne and Redruth Mining District, the Kresen Kernow (Cornwall Centre) Archive and Local Studies Centre, brings together the largest collection of information recording the people, places, history and culture of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, dating from 1150 to the present day.
Set within the historic buildings of the former Redruth Brewery, the project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Cornwall Council, to enable three separate organisations (Cornwall Record Office, Cornish Studies Library and Cornwall and Scilly Historic Environment Record) to be brought together under one roof, and one organisational structure.
The project was preceded by the implementation of a flood alleviation scheme and public realm works which included rerouting and containing a watercourse, installing new hard and soft landscaping, and providing a new public art installation. Further works planned for the remainder of the site include the construction of new houses, a hotel and a micro-brewery.
Successive arson attacks in 2011 and 2013 had devastated the interior of the former Brewhouse, reducing several of the spaces to little more than debris filled shells, supported by temporary propping. The existing building has been renovated to provide a range of public search rooms and exhibition spaces, education rooms, partner spaces, conservation workshops, and staff and volunteer facilities, whilst a new two storey extension provides archive storage spaces under closely controlled environmental conditions, to PD5454 conservation standards.
The project has created an inspiring building that reflects the aspirations of the project and the community in which it is located, safeguards the archive collections for generations to come, and which positions sustainability at the heart of its design. Marrying together a complex assemblage of old and new building volumes has created a strikingly modern design.
Internally the atrium is the centrepiece of the whole design and not only provides a welcoming entrance, helps with orientation providing numerous glimpses through to the other parts of the buildings. Public artwork sits directly outside the main entrance, and flood prevention measures and hard landscaping constructed as part of the works have created high quality public space around its perimeter.
Primary Use Class
Class D1f - Public Library/Archive/Visitor Centre