Purcell led the creation of Kresen Kernow, a new archive and local studies centre for Cornwall. Purcell's restoration and design forms part of the regeneration of Redruth and safeguards the historic Redruth Brewery at the heart of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

Drawing together three Cornish archive and library organisations, Kresen Kernow houses the largest collection of information for studying Cornwall’s people, places, history and culture, dating from 1150.

Assessment and Design

The former derelict Redruth Brewery buildings suffered damage as a result of two fires. Purcell's restoration and design aimed to fulfil conservation standards, retain most of the historic structure as possible and create a vibrant contemporary space for the new educational centre. The transformed building is now composed of a public search and exhibition space, education rooms, workshops, and staff and volunteer facilities.


The building now includes a two-storey environmentally controlled archive store which is externally clad in precast concrete panels, designed to be a robust yet discrete addition to the existing building.The addition of a large roof-light introduces daylight to the heart of the building whilst allowing excellent views of the landmark chimney.

The use of large spacious windows and cladding the interiors with natural hardwood promotes visitor well-being. The remaining brewery building has also been transformed to provide new accommodation and public facilities.

Restoration and BIM

The 100-year-old brick chimney was retained due to it being the last of its kind in Redruth. The building's characterful roofscape was also retained and enhanced with contemporary copper insertions. Purcell was also appointed to lead the project team in adopting BIM Level 2 processes for Kresen Kernow.

Collaboration was a key component of the successful project and adopting BIM Level 2 principles — aligned to the client's brief — has ensured a well-coordinated outcome for Kresen Kernow.