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Marraum Architects19-Dec-2019 17:00:005 min read


Cornwall has some fascinating and unique architecture to draw on when seeking inspiration for your project.

At Marraum we always have an eye on unique and distinctive buildings across the globe as inspiration for our creativity and designs.


Here we share our favourite architecture in Cornwall…


Stunning Cornwall Architecture


The Old Vicarage, Crowan

The Old Vicarage in Crowan is a Grade II listed building dating back to 1880. It was recently restored by RIBA award-winning architect Amin Taha and is now privately owned. The minimalist restoration elegantly exposes the features of the building showcasing the original stonework, timbers, door openings, floor-tiles and fireplaces.


“I love the natural palette of colours and the way the original features create a rugged, rustic look that exposes the structure and the story of the original building. Exposing the flaws and errors in construction gives great character, in my opinion, giving the building a narrative that’s deeper and much more interesting than white walls.” Oliver


The Eden Project, Bodelva

Built in a reclaimed china clay quarry near to St Austell, the Eden Project opened in 1990 and is now a well-known visitor attraction. The main structure features a series of domes or biomes constructed from plastic and steel hexagons and pentagons.


“It’s pretty unique - there’s very little like it elsewhere and when you see it you know immediately what it is. That it’s here in Cornwall is amazing. I like how its unobtrusive and hidden down in the valley but then when you get closer it’s this giant structure that reminds me of dragonfly eyes. I love going to music gigs there with the biomes as a backdrop – there’s something very special about that.” Lucy

Marraum Architects_Cornwall_Eden Project

Carn Brea Castle, Redruth

Carn Brea Castle is a 14th Century Grade II listed granite building. It was extensively remodelled in the 18thCentury as a hunting lodge for the Bassett family who owned much of the land in and around Redruth in Cornwall. It’s a folly in the style of a gothic castle and the boulders beneath it form some of the foundations, giving the impression that it melds with the land.


“It’s a totally magical, otherworldly place. It always feels like such an adventure turning off the main road and driving along the bumpy track. When you eventually get to the castle it looks like a small, unassuming building, but as you get closer you realise it looks as if it has been pushed out of the ground. The boulders sit balanced underneath the west wing with daylight showing in-between! The view from the top is breath-taking and the food is fantastic too.” Daisy


The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno

The Minack Theatre is a Cornish gem. Situated on one of Cornwall’s most spectacular coastlines above Porthcurno beach, it was mostly constructed by one woman, Rowena Cade, who moved down to Cornwall after the First World War. She fell in love with Portcurno and started building the theatre using sand from the beach to make concrete. Her story is a true labour of love.


“It’s a remarkable site, carved into the cliff face. Seeing my 4-year old son trying to preform on the stage there was amazing. The detail and vision of Rowena’s work is certainly high on my list of inspirational architecture in Cornwall and if you haven’t been I would highly recommend you do. Preferably on a clear sunny day as it can be quite extreme in poor weather conditions!” Adam

 Marraum Architects_Cornwall_Minack

Tate, St Ives extension

The original Tate St Ives building, designed by Eldred Evans and David Shalev, was opened in 1993, styled to reflect the cylindrical gasworks that formerly stood on the site.


In 2017 an extension to the original building was opened. Designed by Jamie Forbert Architects, this doubled the size of the exhibition space, adding increased facilities and an art-handling space. This iconic modern building overlooks Porthmeor Beach and the Atlantic and is a hub for Cornish art and artists.


“The building’s uses of natural light, raw materials and bold generosity encapsulates what St Ives is to art. The building is not too showy as galleries can be, it merely allows the art and the surrounds to do the talking. It’s an inspirational space - hard to put your finger exactly on what does it - but it excites everyone I have ever taken there from young to old. I also love how the exhibition space gives back to local community by creating a public roof garden with possibly the best views of Porthmeor beach.” Julian

Marraum Architects_Cornwall_Tate St Ives


Newlyn Art Gallery, Newlyn

Opened in 1895 and designed by James Hicks of Redruth, the original Newlyn Art Gallery building was conceived as a home and exhibition venue for the Newlyn School of Art. Following an architectural design competition managed by RIBA Competitions, the gallery was redeveloped in 2007.


The pavilion on the seaward side of the gallery is a glass structure on the ground-floor level, which supports a first floor clad in wet-laid Cornish slate, a building method specific to the region, but rarely seen in modern buildings. An impressive glass curtain wall allows panoramic views of Newlyn Green and the sea, while sliding doors lead to a secluded garden and outdoor seating area.


“What I particularly like is that the listed Victorian building appears unchanged when you approach, with the gallery extension floating behind. The existing building was carefully and sympathetically restored and the light, airy new gallery is not a pastiche of the original building. The use of traditional slating techniques on the facade, above the glass curtain walling appeals to me, and the whole blends contemporary architecture and a listed building in a non-conventional way.” Nick


Speak To The Cornwall Architecture Specialists Today


Based in Cornwall, our professional architectural services take inspiration from Cornwall's rich heritage and culture. From private to corporate builds, start your next project with a different kind of architect practice in the South West. Talk to our specialists today to discover how you can bring your own story of space to life.



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