One of the major challenges facing the architects was make Porthmeor Studios more user-friendly, with no part of the building easily accessible to wheelchair users. Two studios could be reached with some difficulty, but the rest required negotiating flights of steps.
The most pressing issue was to improve access to the studios regularly receiving the public, which includes the two School of Painting studios, the two Trust studios, and the Mark Dion installation in Cellar 4. This was achieved by incorporating a staircase (Images 1 – 4) and platform lift (Images 5 – 6) within the building, connecting the street level with the floor levels above and below, and giving wheelchair users access to all these spaces.
An external walkway around the courtyard (Images 7 – 8) connects the bottom of the lift with five of the studios for wheelchair users, and a bridge across the slipway (Image 9) provides access to a further group of five studios.