At the request of the Tristan da Cunha government, RIBA has launched of a design competition in search of ideas for a more self-sustainable and innovative future of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas community on the remotest inhabited island in the world.
Situated 1,750 miles southwest of Cape Town in the South Atlantic Ocean, Tristan da Cunha’s activity is largely governed by the severe maritime weather. Only reachable some 60 days annually, the island’s community of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas is home to 270 people. Of the four islands Tristan da Cunha contains (two of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites), it is the only one to support a permanent residence.
With many of its buildings becoming obsolete with age, the Island hopes to improve the living standards of its residents through inventive, cost-effective design solutions. The competition aims to accomplish this by addressing both its community infrastructure and its agrarian systems to make a more livable community and increase the growth of local produce. Additionally, Tristan da Cunha seeks designs that will not only meet the current needs of the island, but also provide a sustainable solution that will support future generations.
The competition invites international design teams (under the direction of a registered practicing architect) to submit their ideas anonymously by June 2, 2015. Five teams will be selected to further explore and develop their designs in the second round. Each of these shortlisted teams will be granted a monetary honorarium of £3,000, and the winner will receive an added £2,000.
The winner will be chosen by a judging panel, which includes the Island’s Administrator and Head of Government HH Alex Mitham, as well as John Whiles of Jestico & Whiles as the RIBA Architect Adviser.
In anticipation of the competition, Mitham commented, “As the community nears its 200th Anniversary, it is a perfect time to not only reflect on the past, but also look to the future and ensure the community's viability for generations to come. I believe that a competition such as this offers the community that chance to thrive.”