Hall for Cornwall

The project involved the full refurbishment of all public parts of the BREEAM ‘Very Good’-rated Hall for Cornwall and the creation of a new multi-layered auditorium, which reveals the stunning historic fabric of the building to maintain its core cultural purpose to entertain.

Hall for Cornwall occupies an important Grade II*-listed building built in 1846 and the work honoured the venue's heritage by ensuring its conservation. The £26m upgrade brought enhanced capacity of 1,253 seats and improved sight lines. 

To achieve this, working with architects Burrell Foley Fischer, the building was gutted and a new, larger three-tier auditorium – the Cornwall Playhouse – was created. The building itself has also been opened up to include more cafes and bars, and workspaces for businesses, as well as ‘hidden’ public spaces that host youth and community projects.

Skelly & Couch provided improved building services, using reverse ventilation strategy from top down to displacement. New boilers and cooling systems were put in place, as well as a ground source heat pump. All of these features, including a significant amount of heat recovery through new ventilation, resulted in lower energy consumption by the theatre.

New fire safety and variable acoustic measures were also introduced, together with new lighting, heating, water and power distribution throughout. A water-to-water heat pump is used to provide cooling where required, with the ‘waste’ heat being used in the heating system.

Following its reopening in October 2021, Hall for Cornwall hosted the world premiere of Fisherman’s Friends the Musical, which was seen by more than 22,000 people. The venue now hopes to attract 300,000 a year and add £35 million to the Cornish economy over the next five years.

Hall for Cornwall is the venue for Husa, a new creative hub to support Cornish performance artists and the creative industries. The centre offers shared workspaces for creative businesses to rent on a long-term basis, as well as providing a base for Hall for Cornwall staff. 

Nominated for Theatre Building of the Year in The Stage Awards 2022. Finalist in the 2023 AJ Retrofit Awards in the Cultural and Religious building £5m and over category. 

Winner of Heritage Project of the Year in the Michelmores Property Awards 2023: https://www.michelmores.com/firm-news/winners-of-the-michelmores-property-awards-2023-revealed/

Winner of both Best Project of the Year and the Chair's Award for Design at the 2023 Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) South West Awards for Planning Excellence: https://bff-architects.com/news/2023/7/3/hall-for-cornwall-wins-two-rtpi-south-west-awards-for-planning-excellence