ScottWhitbyStudio (SWS) has recently received Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent for works to Jubilee Pool Penzance, the largest of only five surviving sea water lidos in UK, and an important part of the built and social fabric of the town. Greatly loved by locals and visitors alike, the triangular shaped pool has an interesting history which reflects the prosperity (or otherwise) of the town. In 2017 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, capitalising on geothermal energy to create the UK’s only heated sea water pool.

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, yet this relic of Penzance’s glory days lives on and is ready to adapt to allow it become financially and socially sustainable.

SWS has a strong track–record in dealing with listed buildings and socially sensitive developments, often working with closely with community groups to understand their priorities and help them realise their ambitions for their locality. Their approach here was to retain existing structures where possible, infilling between them in a modern interpretation of the low sweeping art deco design. From the poolside the design and choice of materials relates to and enhances the nautical characteristics of this art deco masterpiece.

Existing structures are retained and updated to provide a robust defence against the aggressive sea-front environment. Between these structures high performance double glazed aluminium framed bi-folding doors are introduced to infill the spaces and create the two main volumes - an enlarged café and a new multi-purpose community hall, both able to open up directly onto a new public promenade which will be open all year round.

The sculpted roof covering the entire development transitions from a gently undulating form facing the street to a simple projecting roof facing the pool side and resonating with the strong horizontal lines of the poolside condition. From the promenade the rippling roof silhouette above the street wall reflects the movement of water within Jubilee Pool and refers to the scalloped walls of the churchyard opposite. The raised elements allow north light into the rear of the buildings and frame views out.

Geothermal drilling is currently being carried out at the pool financed by the European Regional Development Fund. It is anticipated that the creation of a heated bathing area will increase visitor numbers and, supported by this application, provide a year-round facility, bringing wider benefits to the local economy. In order to benefit from the available geothermal energy an additional £350,000 is needed to be raised by crowd funding amongst the local community and other supporters, of which £200,000 has already been pledged. Information on the Community share offer is available on the website