St John’s Hall, Penzance

St John’s Hall in Penzance is a 2,000m² Grade II listed building built from Lamorna granite in 1867. It is the largest granite building in the country – in fact the top step is one of the largest pieces of granite ever quarried.

Although it was home to the Town Council, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Cornish Community Banking and the Farmers’ Market, St John’s Hall hadn’t been used to its full potential for many years.

In 2013 the go ahead was given for a £5.6 million refurbishment programme; creating jobs and safeguarding the library service.

Plans included extending the existing external steps to accommodate the lowering of the ground level and creating a new main entrance providing level and equal access and improved accessibility for everyone.

In order to retain the original look of the Grade II listed building, arrangements were made to save granite removed during building work and use it to cover new concrete blockwork.

Interesting fact: When excavating began, it was discovered that the existing forecourt had been laid on top of soil. This was removed so that proper foundations could be laid.  

One aim of the £5.6 million refurbishment programme was to improve accessibility.

Creating a new main entrance and lowering the external ground level was designed to provide level and equal access to the new reception on the ground floor for everyone.

With the existing forecourt excavated and new foundations laid, the new surface had to be:

  • Suitable for pedestrian and vehicular access
  • Accessible
  • Permeable
  • Hard-wearing
  • Complement the granite building.

With Midas appointed as the main contractor, we were contracted in February 2016 by Cormac Consultancy to install the resin bound paving specified for this project.

The refurbishment is sympathetic to the existing Grade II listed building; complementing St John’s Hall and conserving its iconic image.

The colour chosen for this prestigious project – Sterling – sits in perfect harmony with the granite building.

The SureSet resin bound paving is:

  • Durable – specified for pedestrian and vehicular access
  • Low maintenance – no weeding or sweeping up loose stone
  • Accessible – the smooth finish with no loose stone makes it ideal for wheelchair and pushchair access
  • Permeable – no puddles

Here are some photos of the internal refurbishment.


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