08 Sep Hall for Cornwall wins the Conservation and Regeneration Award at the 2022 Constructing Excellence South West Awards
Ward Williams Associates are incredibly proud to be part of an award-winning team as the Hall for Cornwall scooped the Conservation and Regeneration award at the recent Constructing Excellence South West Awards.
WWA are celebrating alongside our project partners Burrell Foley Fischer, Kier, Currie and Brown and the Hall for Cornwall team, but we have withheld our news until now as a mark of respect for HM Queen Elizabeth II. The achievements of the whole team were recognised as Hall for Cornwall regeneration was announced the winner of the Conservation and Regeneration, category among an outstanding collection of construction projects, at the Constructing Excellence South West Awards – held in Bristol on September 8th.
The Conservation and Regeneration Award gives recognition to ‘the preservation or rehabilitation of a historic building’ that forms an important piece of neighbourhood revitalisation and provides a ‘physical and psychological focus for the community and creating jobs and investment opportunities’.
The Hall for Cornwall reopened at the end of last year after a multi-million-pound renovation of the Grade II* listed buildings. The refurbishment achieved the fine balance of enhancing the visitor experience and increasing audience capacity while respecting and featuring elements of the building’s rich heritage. Redevelopment of the Hall for Cornwall has seen the building stripped back and a new, larger three-tier auditorium – the Cornwall Playhouse – created, adding 300 seats, and increasing capacity to over 1,250 seats all of whom enjoy improved sightlines and a heightened theatre experience.
Receiving the award for Conservation and Regeneration is a great achievement and for us the accolade celebrates the outcome of an amazing collaboration across the whole team including architects, theatre designers and structural, services, acoustic and fire engineers. Working as a unified team with an overriding desire to achieve the best outcomes for the extensive reconstruction, the project team carefully coordinated the design to overcome a number of challenges – not least how to expand audience capacity and accommodate the extensive theatre technical equipment on the existing land footprint.
The construction industry is, quite rightly, under pressure to change. Faced with the stark reality that the sector is responsible for nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions, the level of change required within the industry seems impossible. The Hall for Cornwall project is a great example of action WWA is committed to taking now, and the remarkable results that can be achieved with solid teamwork and thoughtful use of construction expertise across all aspects of a project.
Employing a strategy of refurbishment and reuse of existing building fabric as far as possible has seen the project achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating and in revealing the historic fabric of the building strengthens its links to the past and chronicles its history. The project team embraced the reuse philosophy at every opportunity from recycled aggregate to the careful repair of salvageable windows and fittings and retention of steel and masonry. Innovative solutions to energy efficiency within this historic building have seen electricity consumption drop by 15% despite an increase in audience capacity of over 30%.
The Hall for Cornwall renovation is a great example of what can be done now to bring together the expertise to achieve outstanding environmental results in construction. This project demonstrates how we can learn together, and from each other, to make the right choices in the design and construction of projects in our commitment to achieve significant impacts in the sustainability of the built environment across the industry.
Collecting the award, Helen Grassly of BFF Architects said: “We are winning the award, but actually there are a lot of people behind us, the structural engineers, the stonemasons, the joiners and the project managers. But really the star is the Hall for Cornwall – it is an amazing building, and it has been really fun as a project to bring it back into use with a sustainable future.”
Speaking about the benefit of the Hall for Cornwall redevelopment for the wider community, James Beckly, Managing Partner at WWA, said: “It is fantastic news that the Hall for Cornwall has collected the Constructing Excellence South West Conservation and Regeneration award – we’re delighted! The Hall for Cornwall was a complex redevelopment project and it is a testament to what can be achieved and how issues can be overcome when the whole project team works together to find innovative solutions. The Hall for Cornwall has massive significance for the county and the completion of the project will not only have an incredible impact on arts and heritage in Cornwall but has also made a great contribution in terms of social value. Throughout the development, we’ve created learning opportunities with local students and a project policy of using local people to work on the scheme wherever possible has meant the development of skills and the knowledge base built at the Hall for Cornwall has been retained locally. To receive this award for a really rewarding project is a great result!”
Visit Hall for Cornwall – Ward Williams Associates (wwa.uk.com) to learn more about the Hall for Cornwall project
To learn more about the Constructing Excellence South West Awards visit https://constructingexcellencesw.org.uk/about-the-awards/
To find out more about WWA’s journey to influence a more sustainable built environment for people, places and planet, visit https://wwa.uk.com/b-corp/