Anchor Studio is part masonry and timber frame construction with a traditional slate roof. It shares many similarities to the Trust’s Porthmeor Studios, including that over a century of exposure to storms have left the timber structure and roof in a very fragile condition. When it first came into the Trust’s possession in 2002 it had lain empty for two years, and the dormer was leaking badly causing the huge window underneath to rot and be removed, and the opening to be boarded up (Image 1). The building was also suffering from a lack of ventilation.
The Trust commissioned a condition survey in 2005 which identified a comprehensive list of issues that needed to be addressed over the next 10 years. However the Trust didn’t have the funding or the capacity to undertake this work, instead prioritising the renovation projects at Trewarveneth and Porthmeor Studios. Because of this delay, the main concern was to carry out sufficient repairs to Anchor to enable it to be let out in the interim, therefore ensuring that it would be better heated and ventilated and so slowing its deterioration.
The Trust first carried out a number of minor repairs to the roof and walls to help make the building more weatherproof. However the main priority was to replace the dormer and boarded window, which was making the studio very dark and therefore unsuitable for many artists. The Trust was very fortunate to be approached by The Tanner Trust, who not only helped to fund the replacement window (Images 2-3) and the dormer (Image 4), but then also assisted with reclaiming the garden which had been left untended since the death of John Wells and was now very overgrown (Image 5).
Anchor has now been continuously occupied since 2006, and although the rate of deterioration has slowed, it is still in a very fragile condition requiring constant repairs. Large sections of slate roofing are starting to slip, parts of the external timber cladding are in a poor condition, the lower floor area is blocked off and suffers from extensive damp, and the building services all need to be replaced.
Now that the Porthmeor renovation project is completed, the Trust has turned its attention to Anchor and is currently undertaking an options appraisal to decide how best to develop and fundraise for this urgently needed renovation work.