the Jubilee, A SEAWATER POOL IN THE UK
ScottWhitbyStudio has converted the Jubilee Pool, one of the largest surviving seawater lidos in the United Kingdom, into the country’s only geothermally heated seawater pool. Located in the British town of Penzance, on a rocky outcrop jutting out into the North Atlantic, the year-round community hub preserves the sensitive contemporary interpretations of the low sweeping Art Deco design. One of the most important interventions of the project is a geothermal well that has been sunk down 410m to heat the water and maintain temperature with a very low carbon footprint.
aerial view of the triangular structure of the Jubilee pool
all images courtesy of Jim Stephenson
natural energy from the sea generates geothermal heat
The triangular-shaped pool had fallen into a state of disrepair over the years and it was regularly under threat of closure, which, according to ScottWhitbyStudio ‘would have been devastating for the local community as the pool represents a huge amount of pride in the town.’ By capitalizing on natural energy, the design studio was able to create the seawater pool that is geothermally heated, ensuring the project will become an attraction with national significance and therefore act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the town.
The existing structures of the pool were updated to provide a robust defence against the aggressive sea-front conditions. Hence, two main volumes were created – an enlarged café and a new multi-purpose community hall, both opening directly onto a new public promenade. From the poolside, the design and material choices relate to and enhance the nautical characteristics of its context.
view of the café from the pool
A robust structure and a new multipurpose community hall
The sculpted roof that covers the length of the development references the forms of the Jubilee pool itself and transitions from gentle undulations facing the street to strong horizontal lines, resonating with the poolside conditions. From the promenade, the silhouette of the rippling roof reflects the movement of water within the pool and creates a dialogue with the scalloped walls of the churchyard opposite to it.
The rippling roof over the cafe celebrates the special light conditions of the Penwith Peninsula, bringing north light in and creating a shaded area to the south. As the roof is pulled up to allow light into the space, visual connections are created between those at the level of the promenade and passersby at street level. This new architectural intervention by ScottWhitbyStudio consciously offers new visitor facilities that will support the pool’s long and prosperous lease of life, while appreciating its existing Art Deco and grade II listed structure.
people enjoying the geo-thermally heated pool
interior of the café
rippiling roof of the cafe