The Net Loft at Polperro

Client: The National Trust

Architect: James Lockyer Associates

The Net Loft at Polperro is perched on the cliffs above the harbour entrance to the bustling and ancient Cornish fishing village. Originally used as a workshop to build boats, and more recently by fishermen to store equipment and dry out nets, it is now owned and has been restored by the National Trust. The building is located some distance away from the village and so it is completely off-grid, meaning that it has no water, electricity or wastewater connections. One of the key project challenges was to provide visitor facilities, such as lighting and toilets, whilst maintaining the completely self-sufficient nature of the building. This meant that all energy requirements have to be generated and stored on-site as well as all wastewater disposed of on-site.

The scheme features a composting toilet, low energy LED lighting throughout, roof-integrated PV using solar slate PV tiles so that they are invisible, extensive battery energy storage and also an emergency standby generator connection point. All in all, a unique project requiring a highly bespoke response to the challenges presented.