“Calypso’s Hacienda: Architecture of the land & the sea”
This design thesis explores an architectural design driven by ideas for durability of structure, sustainability of environment, continuity of culture, and protection of collective community memory. The predicted dire effects of climate change for the Isles of Scilly (more extreme weather events and sea level rise) prompted the main design intent – to provide an architecture that would be resilient and self-sufficient. Driven by sustainable principles, the proposal also touches upon social drivers including the problematic outward migration of young Scillonians and the resulting erosion of culture and craft skills.
The proposed scheme explores methods for connectivity to the land and the water – providing public entertainment spaces, recreational activities & educational programmes, closely linked to the rowing culture of the islands, as well as promoting the agenda for energy self-sufficiency, resourcefulness & sustainable management of water and ocean plastic pollution. The cluster of buildings is connected by a floating pontoon platform sitting in a lagoon created by a garment of natural, living breakwaters – enhancing biodiversity, marine life habitat as well as exploring a radical strategy for coastal defense. The pontoon is attached to a prominent part of the coastline, however, it can also detach to float away or rotate in the lagoon to react to harsh winter/storm conditions. PassivHaus principles were adopted and modelling indicates this would be successfully achieved – demonstrating a building with an incredibly low energy demand, efficient renewable technology integration and good thermal comfort for the benefit of the users.
The proposal is conceived to merge cultural, physical, social, and ecological resilience, establishing an example and hope for a prosperous future of the islands and their inhabitants.
Calypso’s Hacienda floating within the sea and the sky of the mesmerizing Scilly sunset
‘’We need to be bold, brilliant and decisive, to act in proportion to the challenges we are facing and to aim for a future we actually feel good about.’’ (From What is to What If, Rob Hopkins)
Calypso’s Hacienda on land – main approach from prominent coastal path frames the views seaward at every corner of the pontoon, creating joyful life between buildings and bridging the threshold between land & water
Isles of Scilly Maritime Heritage Museum & Gig boat building workshops – craft revival through an intergenerational exchange for resourceful production of gig boats from both domestic and ocean recycled plastic, complemented by an exhibition and entertainment spaces for celebrating the rowing, the craft, the traditions.
The High Tide Event – Calypso’s Hacienda becomes an island, part of the archipelago – a focal point complementing the World Gig Championship.
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Curated by Laura Selwood