Portsmouth City Council | Creation of Artist Studios in Historic Portsmouth
Portsmouth City Council
Refurbishment Construction New Build Historic Building Local Authority

The Objective

Cultural refurbishment contract to provide alteration and improvement services to Point Battery, also known as the ‘Hot Walls’ in Old Portsmouth.

The sea defences at Point Battery were originally constructed in the 1420s and were rebuilt during Elizabeth I’s reign. As well as defending Portsmouth against attack, over time the arches in the walls below the Round Tower have been used for arts and craft exhibitions for local visitors and tourists.

Portsmouth City Council appointed Mountjoy to provide alterations and additions to the historic fabric to convert the existing open and internal casemates, internal storage rooms, public toilets and external spaces to 13 artist studios, brasserie café, management space, public toilets, retail space, stores and terrace.

The project was aimed at creating new jobs and opportunities to visually enhance the area, as well as supporting emerging creative industries.

The Solution

Mountjoy managed the Grade I listed site by carefully segregating the working area but still maintaining public paths around the conservation area. Specialist repointing methods were used to preserve the historic brickwork which was left exposed.

One of the most important elements was that the studios were water tight with them being situated on the beach susceptible to high winds and tides.

The newly altered area opened in time for visitors attending The Americas Cup event held in Portsmouth in July.