Insight / 19-Oct-23

Looking back over 50 years

Written by Jessica Wood
Looking back over 50 years

Reaching the 50 year milestone has given us the opportunity to look back over past projects, successes and people. It is hard to condense this into a journal post, but here are some of our highlights ....


In January 1973 Joe Poynton, just returned from a two year stint working in West Africa, ran out of petrol in Penzance; it turned out that the Good Samaritan who came to his aid just happened to be in need of an architect. This encounter, plus the opportunity to share an attic studio in St Ives, was the unlikely beginning of what was to become one of the South West’s leading architectural practices. 

1973 - Restoration of Elizabethan Trewartha Barn

1976 - Practice’s work first published in Architects’ Journal

1981 - Practice wins first design award for housing in Hayle

Joe Poynton and Mike Bradbury
Lostwithiel Community Hall site works
Trewartha Barn


1984 - HRH The Prince of Wales commissions practice to undertake community projects on his Somerset estates

1985 - Practice buys first computer

1988 - Practice wins design competition and is commissioned to design the Royal Cornwall Museum

1989 - Practice moves office to The Old Sail Lofts and wins RIBA award for the

1990 - RNLI commissions practice to design new Lifeboat Stations for St Ives, Falmouth and Ilfracombe and later Blackpool, Lytham, Padstow and The Lizard

Joe Poynton meeting HRH Prince of Wales at Lostwithiel Community Hall
Royal Cornwall Museum
Receiving the RIBA Award for conversion of Old Sail Lofts, St Ives


1994 - St Ives Lifeboat Station receives four design awards

1996 - Practice wins RIBA award for restoration of Grade II listed Tredrea Manor

2000 - Practice wins competition to design RNLI flagship Lifeboat College which is later opened by HM the Queen in 2004

2000 - Private house in Mylor wins ‘Building of the Year’ award

2001 - RCHT commissions The Sunrise Centre - the first cancer treatment centre in Cornwall

2002 - The Knowledge Spa for Peninsula Medical School is commissioned

The opening of St Ives Lifeboat Station
Mike Bradbury, Cedric Wynter, Phil Cole, Joe Poynton
Kenwyn Building, Truro College


2005 - RNLI Headquarters and Lifeboat College wins LABC Construction Excellence Award

2007 - Padstow Lifeboat Station wins numerous awards

2007 - Restoration of Bridon Marine Building wins Carrick Design Award

2008 - Announced as joint winner in national competition to design new Clay Country Eco Town

2011 - Fistral Lifeguard Station overall class winner in LABC Construction Excellence awards

2012 - Lizard Lifeboat Station winner in LABC Construction Excellence awards

Padstow Lifeboat Station
Mike Bradbury, Phil Cole, Rachael Gaunt, Simon Burgess
RNLI Headquarters and Lifeboat College in Poole


2013 - Practice completes Atlantic Studio and moves in, later receiving numerous awards

2015 - St Agnes Island Hall receives numerous awards and achieves BREEAM ‘Excellent’

2016 - Chy Trevail, King Edward Mine and Eden Project Green Build Hub complete and receive multiple awards 

2017 - Callywith College opens

2019 - Practice becomes an Employee Owned Trust

2022 - Practice signs up to RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge

St Agnes Island Hall
Staff outside Atlantic Studios
Exmouth Watersports Centre


2023 - Practice helps plant 500 trees with Plant One Cornwall and Cornwall  Wildlife Trust at Carnkie

2023 - Practice receives awards for Boskelly and Wheal Martyn Clayworks! wins Cornish Building Group Award for ‘World Heritage Site’

We have many exciting projects that will continue into next year and beyond, including .... 

• Cornwall Council Estate Transformation Programme

• Truro, Camborne and Penzance Town Deal Projects

• Basset Community Hub, Camborne

• Market House, Penzance

Bassett Community Hub, Camborne
Staff volunteer tree planting day
Wheal Martyn Clayworks!

Meet the Author

Architectural Assistant
Jessica Wood
FDA  BA(Hons) Jess joined Poynton Bradbury Architects in 2019 after graduating... Read More

FDA  BA(Hons)

Jess joined Poynton Bradbury Architects in 2019 after graduating with her BA(Hons) in Interior Design at Falmouth University.  Since joining the team, Jess has been able to expand her versatile skillset across a wide range of projects including regeneration schemes such as the £25m Truro Town Deal project as well as community-led placeshaping projects, bespoke one-off houses and residential housing.  

Jess’s strengths lie in spatial design and graphic communication, which she is currently applying during a secondment with Cornwall Council as a Spatial Planner and Architectural Technician.  Jess is always dedicated to producing the best outcomes for every project and is passionate about creating environments which shape the best possible user experience.

Jess is also instrumental in helping to coordinate and produce bid submissions for the practice, as well as using her graphic skills to assist in the production of marketing material and print collateral.

Email Jessica

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