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News » International » Winner announced in contest to redesign world's most remote island » published 29 Sep 2016

Winner announced in contest to redesign world's most remote island

A Liverpool-based architect has won an international design competition to create a more sustainable future for the world's most remote inhabited island.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced that a team led by Brock Carmichael Architects has won the design ideas competition for the main island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic. The team also includes Oval Partnership, Arup International Development, Multi QS and Dr Gerda Speller from the University of Surrey. 

Tristan lies 1,750 miles south-west of Cape Town.  Life there is ruled largely by the weather, with the island only being accessible by sea on approximately 60 days per year due to the severity of the ocean swells and limitations of the harbour facility.  Tristan da Cunha actually consists of four islands - Tristan (the main island), Nightingale and Inaccessible, which together form a group, and Gough Island that lies 220 miles to the south-east. Tristan is the only island with a permanent community, known as Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, which has a population of around 270 people. 

The competition, run by RIBA Competitions on behalf of the Government of Tristan da Cunha, sought design ideas for the island community of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas. The competition encouraged innovative and cost-effective proposals for the redesign and consolidation of Tristan’s government buildings and community infrastructure.  The brief encouraged initiatives to improve the standard and performance of residential properties, together with improvements to grazing and the year-round growth of fresh produce. 

The shortlist also included design teams led by: Lateral Office (Toronto, Canada); John Puttick Associates (New York, USA); Scott Brownrigg (Cardiff, UK) and Javier Terrados and Fernando Suárez (Seville, Spain).    

Tristan da Cunha administrator and head of government Alex Mitham said:  “On behalf of the community of Tristan da Cunha I would again like to thank everyone who participated in the competition, and particularly the five shortlisted teams who further refined their proposals during the second, design development phase.

“The Tristanians are very grateful for all the hard work involved and the different ways in which teams responded to the brief and the unique set of challenges posed by delivering a project on the world’s remotest inhabited island.  The Island Council felt the Brock Carmichael team had developed a very strong set of proposals that demonstrated both a practical approach and an in-depth understanding of the issues.   We hope to be able to arrange for key members of the Brock Carmichael team to visit Tristan and meet the community in the near future as the first step in hopefully going onto realise the project”.          

John Whiles of Jestico + Whiles, acting as the RIBA architect adviser, added: “This has been a complex and intriguing process with a far broader remit than normally experienced in architectural competitions.  The wide ranging international response brought a new dimension to the assessment of the submissions that I believe has served the Tristan community well.  I have great respect for the Island's administrator and indeed Council for the care which they have taken over the selection of the winning team.  The result of this competition could have a significant impact on the Islander's lives, fitting for the future indeed”.

Brock Carmichael Architects partner Martin Watson said:  “We are very much looking forward to forging a long-term partnership with the community to deliver practical solutions for the benefit of future generations to come”.  





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This article was published on 29 Sep 2016 (last updated on 29 Sep 2016).

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