Historic Penzance seawater lido to be transformed
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Architecture practice ScottWhitbystudio will transform the Jubilee Pool Penzance in Cornwall, England – the largest of only five surviving seawater lidos in the UK and an important part of the built and social fabric of the town.

The triangular-shaped pool has an interesting history, which reflects the prosperity of the town. Often described as one of the jewels in Penzance's crown, the iconic Art deco Jubilee Pool opened in 1935, to celebrate King George V's Silver Jubilee at a time when the town was one of the country's premier holiday resorts.

Since then, the pool has been battered by storms, suffered serious leaks and variously threatened with closure.

ScottWhitbyStudio (SWS) was asked to prepare proposals for safeguarding the future of the Grade II listed pool by providing year-round facilities for the people of Penzance, and capitalising on geothermal energy to create the UK’s only heated seawater pool.

The firm will undertake works to the upper terrace, retaining existing structures where possible, but infilling between them and improving their sustainability credentials to create a “hospitality terrace” to serve the pool.

Facilities include an enlarged café with increased inside and outside seating, toilets and improved kitchen, and a new large multi-purpose hall available all year and able to open up

directly onto the promenade in the summer months. This will be used for community activities including exercise or art classes.

SWS was able to bring a strong track–record in dealing with listed buildings and socially sensitive developments. Their approach was to work with the existing structures, enhancing them where necessary in a modern interpretation of the low sweeping Art Deco design.

A low, gently undulating roof forms an interesting silhouette that ripples above the wall to the promenade, reflecting the shadows within Jubilee Pool. SWS’s design and choice of materials was designed to relate to and enhance the nautical characteristics of the Art Deco lido.

"The geothermal drilling that has been carried out has captured the imagination of the local community and it is hoped that these proposals will build on that enthusiasm to enable Penzance to become the spa town destination of Cornwall," the architects said in a statement.

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