Architect awarded for Penzance pool project
02 March 2023
Alex Scott-Whitby, leader of the architecture and physical design cluster, has won the 2023 MacEwen Award for Architecture for the Common Good, with the Royal Institute of British Architects Journal (RIBAJ) for his project to rejuvenate the Jubilee Pool in Penzance.
The MacEwen Award is named after conservationists Anni and Malcolm MacEwen and celebrates socially responsible projects, that make a tangible difference to communities in the UK.
The Jubilee Pool, which was built in 1935, is a grade II listed building and is the UK's largest and most celebrated art deco sea water lido and geothermally heated pool. Throughout the years, the Jubilee Pool has suffered extreme damages from storms and dips in popularity.
Alex and his architectural practice, Scott Whitby Studio, upgraded the art deco swimming pool in Penzance with a geothermal borehole, which provides a natural and low-carbon method of heating the water.
The studio also refurbished the pool's facilities, extending the cafe and bar as well as providing a new community hall. The Jubilee Pool is the second geothermal swimming pool in the UK – the first being the Roman baths in Bath.
This award follows on from Alex’s previous success where he won the global rebirth project of the year and public vote category at last year’s Dezeen Awards for the Jubilee Pool project.
I am so proud to win this award. The recognition for this project shows that we can preserve beautiful historical structures in an environmentally friendly way. Without restoration projects, architectural history would be lost and forgotten. I’m so glad that my team and I could help bring back such an influential structure that will support the local community now and into the future”.
The project's development was informed by work carried out by students from the BSc Architecture programme at the University of East London, several which now work in the Scott Whitby Studio team.
On awarding the prize, judge Kathy MacEwen, said: "The pool is important to Penzance, it is beautiful, but it does more than that, it could have just fallen back into the sea. It is a major achievement to get it back."
For more information see architecture and physical design at UEL.
Contact us for press and interview requests