Cornish architectural practice Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole are celebrating half a century of creating iconic designs across the South West.
From university campuses and hospitals to historic landmarks and RNLI lifeboat stations, PBWC are the creative designers behind many of the buildings people use and see across Cornwall and beyond.
PBWC Director, Chris Turner says:
“Cornwall is central to our business, it’s where we were founded and it’s in our DNA. The importance of many of our projects to local communities is what has led to the practice being sustained by so many repeat commissions and referrals over the last 50 years.”
Founded in 1973, the architect practice began to gain a reputation for community architecture when they worked on the Ludgvan Community Centre in Penzance, which caught the attention of HRH The Prince of Wales (now King Charles III).
“PBWC were subsequently commissioned to design and enable a number of Community Architecture projects on The Prince’s Somerset estates.”
News of PBWC’s work, combined with a steady stream of design awards, attracted talented young architects to the firm. By 1997 PBWC had grown to become the largest architectural practice in Cornwall.
In 2008, having outgrown their offices in the centre of St Ives, they purchased a former petrol station on the main road into the town where they developed their own purpose built 335sqm studio. Now one of the largest practices in the South-West, PBWC currently employs 29 staff.
PBWC’s Director Simon Burgess reflects on the firm’s achievements:
“We’ve won some amazing projects over the years, becoming a key architect for the RNLI and writing their Shoreworks document [a guide to the design of lifeboat stations].”
The firm has delivered numerous significant projects including the Lifeboat College Building for the RNLI, Cornwall Council’s new offices in Bodmin, and Pendennis Shipyard. They also designed campuses for Truro College, Cornwall College, Callywith College and Penwith College.
One of their most challenging projects was the Lizard lifeboat station. Built to house the Tamar class all-weather lifeboat, the new station design had to safeguard the environment and re-use as much existing structure as possible.
“Replacing the original Lizard Lifeboat Station, which is at the foot of a 45-metre cliff at Kilcobben Cove, was one of the most ambitious building projects ever undertaken by the RNLI.”
PBWC also designed the concept for Cornwall’s new Woman and Children’s Hospital, which received £292m of Government funding and will be completed by 2028. The firm’s heritage team have worked on a large number of conservation projects over the years, including the King Edward Mine in Camborne, St John’s Hall, and the Jubilee Pool (both in Penzance), the Wheal Martyn Clay Works Museum in St Austell, and other regional landmarks.
Established in 1973 as part of the community architecture movement, PBWC Architects is now one of the South West’s largest practices.
In 2013 PBWC designed and built their own studio overlooking St Ives in Cornwall.
In 2019 PBWC became a 100 per cent employee-owned practice, reinforcing their collective approach to success and ensuring that collaboration is at the centre of everything they do.