After 100 years of neglect and a six year luxury makeover, the Bodmin Jail Hotel, Cornwall, was finally opened to guests in Spring 2021. Initially built in 1779 Bodmin Jail was a milestone in prison design used to form the new ideal for English prisons.. After its closure in 1927 the landmark was left to the elements for over 100 years, providing a mammoth project for Twelve Architects, a London-based firm, tasked with breathing life back into the historic building.
The £50 million restoration project covered the rebuilding of the collapsed roof as well as restoring the interior features that had crumbled away over the years. With the main walls of the prison still firmly intact, the cells were combined in sets of three to create 70 luxurious suite-style rooms across the four-story property. The design throughout is meticulous, keeping just the right amount of original features within the interior to create a unique luxury space, including replicating the original suspended walkways with the addition of a chic hotelier carpet and clever interior features like the glass elevator, used to give guests a glimpse back out into the outside world.
As well as the luxury room conversions, the property also features an £8.5 million visitor attraction where visitors can experience what life was like in the prison during the 18th & 19th century as well as The Chapel restaurant, built in the old chapel of the prison, a champagne bar and event space. It’s in the Chapel where we found our services in need, to help in creating a truly unforgettable atmosphere for the dining experience.
The customer wanted to create a bright, inviting environment during the day that showcased the history of the building, with the option to create a unique visual experience on an evening. To bring this idea to life, we installed and supplied our Switchable Glass Front Projection Screens, giving them the best of both worlds. Each window, over four meters in height were situated around 2 and a half meters above the floor, each fitted with safety glass to protect the original glazing of the Grade 2 listed building.
Over 3 days we applied our Front Projection Switchable Film to the glass, seamlessly integrating the wiring into the interiors to preserve the authentic décor. The cables for the transformers were concealed using custom trims, as well as a specialist silicone that matched the original mortar used between the bricks to cleverly hide all the necessary electrics. During the day the film was switched to clear, using a remote which can be operated from up to 25 meters away, to let the daylight shine through, showing off the original preserved chapel windows.
On an evening, the film was turned off, returning to its opaque appearance to provide the perfect canvas for front projection. Using high powered projectors to produce images that covered not only the Smart Glass Windows but also the entire roof, whilst dining guests can enjoy view of constellations and period art works to create a truly unique dining experience.
Rajesh Joshi, CEO for The Bodmin Jail Hotel, said:
“The opening of The Bodmin Jail Hotel is a proud moment for Cornwall tourism, and is also about celebrating Cornwall’s history. Through painstaking restoration and preservation, we are returning a national heritage asset to its former glory and creating a cultural showpiece that will attract guests from across the world. Over 90 per cent of the former jail is now within the hotel and its grounds; this is luxury accommodation in a truly unique venue – there is nowhere else quite like it.”
As well as our Switchable Front Projection Screens as seen here and also in the HQ of the world-renowned Cirque Du Soleil offices, we also offer a Switchable Rear Projection Solution which is a popular choice in retail environments, used previously by Harrods & Rolls Royce. The Bodmin Jail is now open for bookings, with the hotel now looking to the future with plans to build a swimming pool and spa on-site to create a truly unforgettable experience.