Major refurbishment and remodelling of the Grade II* listed Hall for Cornwall. A new auditorium will meet the increased demand for capacity, while much of the remaining building will be sensitively rationalised and restored to modern standards and requirements to improve performance, audience comfort and accessibility aspects.
The stage is designed for maximum flexibility, as the hall will provide a multi-purpose venue, supporting pop, rock and classical music, comedy, as well as community activities.
The addition of a new café will help with commercial revenue, and a new foyer created from the existing arcaded entrance will greatly improve circulation.
The biggest challenge will be to completely remodel the auditorium, which will involve digging down to improve sightlines and provide a plenum under the stalls so that cool air can be introduced in the most favourable place. This all has to be achieved while works continue on top of the existing auditorium roof.
Prior to starting the excavation of the new plenum, steel plunge columns will be installed through the existing ground floor slab. This will allow new columns to be welded on and for the new steel auditorium structure to be erected using mobile cranes sat on the existing ground floor slab.
This design results in a significant programme advantage as well as a reduction in the thickness of the concrete raft as the plunge piles can be used to resist flotation forces due to ground water.
The Hall for Cornwall secured £5m Arts Council funding in 2016.