Anchor Studio is part masonry and timber frame construction with a traditional slate roof, and it shares many similarities to the Trust’s Porthmeor Studios. 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. The window was therefore removed, and the opening boarded up.
The Tanner Trust very generously helped to fund a replacement window and also assisted with reclaiming the garden, which had become very overgrown. These works allowed the building to be brought back into use, and it has been in continuous use as a studio since 2006.
However over a century of exposure to storms had left the timber structure and roof in a very fragile condition. Following completion of the Porthmeor renovations in 2012, the Trust began working on proposals to renovate Anchor as a live/work space. A successful Round 1 application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2017 allowed work to start on developing the project, and a Round 2 approval in 2019 permitted the preparation of tender documents and subsequent contractor appointment.
The start on site in May 2020 coincided with the first Covid lockdown. Fortunately work was able to proceed largely unhindered by the effects of Covid thanks to the precautions taken by the contractor and workforce, and completed in February 2021, with the first artist occupying the studio in April 2021.
The restoration and repair were carried out with a light touch to retain the character of the building and evidence of its use by artists, and it has been insulated, heated and well-lit. We recorded the work in progress, so please click on the thumbnails below to see a selection of images from each month.
The Jenny Gason Award 2021 for an outstanding restoration of a small historic building from the Cornish Buildings Group. “The judges were unanimous in their admiration of the restoration of Anchor Studio, approving greatly of the thoughtfulness and sensitivity of the restoration, also applauding the way in which the Studio has been given a sustainable future, fulfilling its original purpose. Visiting it was a truly uplifting experience.”
Civic Trust AABC Conservation Award 2022, one of only two nationally. The judges’ commented: “An exemplary small-scale project with extensive local consultation and liaison. Conservation approaches adapted were very conservative and paid special attention to traditional techniques. The spirit of the building has been carefully preserved.”
Architect: Rolfe Kentish Architect; QS/Project Manager: Trevor Humphreys Associates
Main Contractor: Symons Construction
Mechanical and Electrical Contractor: Delve and Nankervis
Photography and video: Alban Roinard
Funding: National Lottery Heritage Fund; Arts Council England; Cornwall Council; Architectural Heritage Fund; Historic England; Garfield Weston Foundation; The Pilgrim Trust; The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation; and The Cornwall Heritage Trust.