Stromness is noticeably split into two sides, the main town position to the east and the ever-growing developments on the over side facing the west. Between each half a high school sits central at the peak of the unsheltered bay. The master plan introduces many new designs that will help improve Stromness immensely, particularly a sports centre, business hubs and affordable housing. These designs are predominantly situated along the shoreline to help create a visible connection between the two sides and to increase the amount of sheltered space within the town. All aspect of this proposal aims to renew the strong sense of community that is so apparent throughout the island of Orkney.
The bridge if a fundamental part of the whole master plan as it creates a direct link between both sides. Literally reconnecting the route to complete the community and providing a new direction of access round thru town. The main low road in Stromness connect to the bridge at the point where the old ferry terminal was located; on the west side the bridge join to the new road and provides access to the new ferry terminal and the proposed public sports sports centre. At each end the bridge meets a different functional space. This design aims to encourage and promote a safe, healthier method of transport and a direct route across to the other side of the town. It will also enable easy access for the exportation and importation of products and encourage the expansion and raise the tourist appeal of the island.
In order to accommodate for the continuous movement of boats through the bay one section of the bridge will open to create an entrance and help to control the flow of marine traffic. This mechanism will be one of the main focal points and will allow visitors and pedestrians to watch the boat pass through from the restaurant and the viewpoint on the walkway. Splitting diagonally the two raised halves will symbolise the sails of boats once opened and aesthetically will create a significantly stroking feature.
This project works towards the manifesto of the masterplan of sustaining the island community and providing growth by creating a dense housing scheme in Stromness. The project is designed in a way that the internal floor plans can be altered and changed to adapt to each occupants needs rather than the occupants moving to find a more suitable house. The design challenges the traditional dynamics of a house and explores how internal and external spaces can be utilised efficiently. The ageing population was also a consideration when designing the project. To address this, the floor plan was designed so that it could provide extra rooms for an expanding family, or also be suitable for an elderly resident unable to travel up and down the stairs.
Upon reflection of my project, the scheme itself lacked character as I had created a composition of repetitive units where the quality of the spaces were all the same and lacked individuality. For my thesis I wanted to explore how to introduce individuality into the scheme and give the spaces their own character. I started experimenting with photo collages, drawings, sketches and embroidery studies, doing exercises where I was in control but not in control of the final outcomes. The biggest exploration was the shifting of the original pitched roof which created an interesting new elevation. I then took time to explore these new roof volumes and evaluated how they impacted the spaces within. Through plans, sections, axonometrics, computer models and renders I explored the different possibilities for each of the roof volumes, showing the options, including mezzanine offices, attic bedrooms and cosy snugs which would not have been possible in the original scheme. Overall I definitely feel that developing this scheme has been an interesting process. I think the ability of doing exercises that didn’t have a clear final outcome have been beneficial in freeing up my thinking and allowing me to create these spaces which I feel have now got their own character and quality of space that they were missing before.