St Elvan’s Court

Client: Saracen House Estates Ltd.

Completion: 2004

Cornish Buildings Group 2007: Commendation

Porthleven is a typical working Cornish fishing harbour. Its closely-knit townscape dates predominantly from the 19th century and is a collection of simple vernacular forms comprised of locally available materials. The whole of the harbour lies within a designated conservation area.

The brief was to provide two shop units, parking for nine cars, entry staircases and ancillary storage and services at ground floor level. A total of seven two-bedroom flats and two one bedroom flats were to be incorporated on the upper floors. The scheme provided an opportunity to heal the street scene along the waterfront. The design intent was to maintain faith with the simple forms of the traditional buildings and to organise the plan to integrate with the tight grain of the village.

The accommodation was organised around a secure internal court responding to the changing levels in a manner that added to the jumble of roofs that form the backdrop of Sithneyside. The scheme maintained the intimacy of small internal spaces brought about by historic evolution and competition for prominent harbourside frontage.