Gypsy Cove, Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands Tourist Board
One Creative Environments Ltd. (One) was commissioned by the Falkland Islands Tourist Board to design a shelter, WC/baby changing and washing facilities for the very remote and beautiful, Gypsy Cove.
The area attracts 1000’s of visitors every year due to the nesting penguins, making it the most popular tourist destination in Stanley. The remote location, however, provided some unique challenges from a design perspective that required a creative and ‘off grid’ solution.
Due to its picturesque and remote location, the design needed to make use of the natural resources and not rely on grid energy such as water, gas and electric supply, all the while being sympathetic to the surrounding landscape.
The area in Gypsy Cove is designated for preservation due to the wildlife, beautiful landscape and views across Yorke Bay. These constraints were made into opportunities by the team at One by using a natural rock outcrop sited adjacent to the development area to influence the form of the structure, literally nestling the building into the landscape. To further reduce the visual impact of the built form, a native species green roof, the first of its kind in the Islands, has been adopted for the design. In addition to the visual benefits, it will ensure that the wildlife is not deterred from the area of development.
Local materials and earth structures are being used for sustainability purposes with building services using ‘off grid’ solutions. With no mains water or sewerage available, a considered approach was required for the disposal of waste and a solution was provided by One which is low maintenance for this remote location.
The interior has been designed with materials that are robust and easily maintained. Considering that the tourists will be of many nationalities and speaking various languages, the wayfinding strategy had to be universal; One developed a design that was influenced by the local wildlife and celebrates the penguins which nest in Gypsy Cove.
The Tourist Board were also planning to deliver proprietary bus shelters as part of this project, however One’s design team believed this would have had an undesirable impact both visually and for the local wildlife. One, therefore, explored a range of options and incorporated a shelter into the same structure so that the two programmes, WC facilities and bus shelter, seamlessly blended into the same architecture.
Other challenges included wind and rain exposure as well as retaining the ability for buses to turn and collect tourists. The siting of the structure was, therefore, considerate of these factors and was positioned to maximise views over the beautiful Yorke Bay for this important tourist destination.