Tristan da Cunha, Saint Helena

Tristan da Cunha International Design Competition Winners September 2016

Tristan da Cunha is the most remote inhabited Island in the World with a population of 268 people. It is a volcanic archipelago that sits within the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean.
It has no airport and limited harbour facilities and internet connectivity and can only be reached by a 7 day voyage on a commercial ship that sets out from Cape Town 8 times a year.

The Island experiences regular hurricane force winds and high seas that often prevent disembarkation and unloading. Local material resources are also limited to basaltic rock, beach sand and seaweed.
Brock Carmichael led an international interdisciplinary team of engineers, designers and environmental consultants that proposed a home enveloping scheme involving a series of simple interventions that will improve people’s quality of life. New build facilities, sustainable technologies and social enterprises where also proposed would to the community of Tristan da Cunha become self-sufficient over a period of time.

New facilities included the replacement of existing public works buildings as well as the establishment of a knowledge centre for the development of agriculture and new building techniques. The new building provides space for the departments of agriculture & fisheries, engineering, conservation, finance and communications.

The winning team included Brock Carmichael, Dr G Speller, Oval Partnership, Arup Overseas Development and Consulting, Multi-QS and MPA Engineering. The proposal is under pinned by 9 fundamental principles of active participation that would safeguard the unique island culture during a period of transition.

Brock Carmichael are fully committed to this long term project and look forward to building long-lasting relationships with the community. The first step is for members of the team to visit Tristan for 3months in early 2017 and work with the community in developing practical proposals.

A key aspect is the gradual improvement of current building technologies and logistics and the optimisation of imported goods. The transfer of knowledge within the community is fundamental, with the ultimate aim to increase people’s capability for sustainable living.