In a former life, the port at Hayle was the heart of a major industry, exporting copper and tin from Cornwall to the world. With the gradual decline of this industry and after many years in decline, the fortunes of South Quay have once more been revived through the construction of this unique retail store, revitalising a rich corner of the Devon and Cornwall World Heritage site.
The South Quay site had in the past been the subject of several failed attempts at redevelopment. Bowmer + Kirkland, working with Asda and Peveril Securities undertook a lengthy and detailed planning process to bring a scheme that could deliver without disappointment. The extensive site required around 20,000㎥ of remediation to materials, all of which was retained and reused. The historic quayside was subject to extensive renovation works, a new section of quay wall was added, and a large breach was repaired. All these works were completed despite one of the wettest winters on record, much to the delight of residents who were strongly invested in South Quay’s future. The store shell was completed and fit-out commenced in time for opening for the important Christmas trading period.
The works required the reintroduction of sluicing of the harbour, which included the installation of large timber lock gates into the Carnsew Channel and reinstalling penstocks to the existing tunnels. As well as additional repairs that were uncovered as work progressed, the programme was also completed against a backdrop of twice daily tides. Controls were imposed by UNESCO, ICOMOS, the MMO, and Cornwall County Council in line with the heritage requirements of the site, as well as the Carnsew Pool being a SSSI.
At project completion, the brass clad building has been very well received by all parties and has become the only Asda store in the UK not to include their corporate green signage. Within the Walmart group, the project is being used as an example of how to integrate stores into challenging and historically important sites around the world.