We led the creation of Kresen Kernow, a new archive and local studies centre for Cornwall.

The design forms part of the regeneration of Redruth, and safeguard the historic Redruth Brewery building at the heart of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

Drawing together three Cornish archive and library organisations, the centre will house the largest collection in existence of information for studying Cornwall’s people, places, history and culture, dating from 1150.

The derelict Redruth Brewery buildings suffered damage as a result of two fires, but they retained a strong visual appeal, providing an excellent setting for the new centre.

Our site appraisal and heritage impact assessment informed designs for the purpose-built archive facility.

The design aimed to fulfil conservation standards, retaining the historic structures whilst transforming the public spaces, and comprises of a public search and exhibition space, education spaces, workshops, and staff and volunteer facilities.

Our design also incorporates 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 new design incorporates a large rooflight, introducing daylight to the heart of the building whilst allowing views of the landmark chimney. The use of natural materials such as hardwood also promotes well-being within the centre.

The remaining brewery building was conserved to provide new accommodation and public facilities.

The 100-year-old, 30m-high brick chimney was retained due to it being the last of its kind in Redruth. Wider regeneration plans also centred around the brewery include housing, a hotel and microbrewery.

The characterful roofscape was also retained and enhanced with contemporary copper insertions uniting the buildings into a cohesive whole.

Purcell was also appointed to lead the project team in adopting BIM Level 2 processes on this project. Collaboration is always a key component of any successful project, and adopting BIM Level 2 principles aligned to the clients brief has ensured a well-coordinated outcome for Kresen Kernow.