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.
Orkney is already at the forefront of renewable energy. Standing between the Atlantic and the North Sea, Orkney is home to some of the most energy-rich waters in Europe, some of the strongest winds, and a community that have embraced this potential with open arms – this facility aims to take this one step further. This Research & Design Centre aims to put Orkney at the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero emission vehicles. The establishment centres on the renewable energies and technologies which Orkney has already developed, expanding on them further to aid in the fight against the climate change. On a smaller scale this facility will work alongside the already established EMEC organisation - the world’s only multi-berth, purpose-built, open sea test facility for wave and tidal energies. The facility will also aid in spawning the new Stromness masterplan through the creation of jobs, a growth in the economy and will open up new opportunities for islanders, mainlanders and non-nationals to “live, work and play” on the island.
The facility will allow for complex testing and validation of Electric Vehicle motors, powertrain components, complete powertrains, and on the vehicle as a whole. Considering this the facility will include design studios, meeting rooms, laboratories, testing facilities, a cafeteria, a showroom, VR facility and an external test track. The design itself is divided into smaller departments all of which are connected by one large vaulted timber assembly room cutting into the slope east of the Hamnavoe and hiding from the unforgiving Orkney winds.
The aim of the project is to is to design a centre for the Design and Research of Orkney’s very own Electric Vehicle. The building will house the development of new Electric Vehicles through design, modelling, virtual reality, simulation, testing, assembly and disassembly. It is hoped that this new facility will bring jobs to both the people of Orkney and new-comers who have been attracted to live on the island due to the opportunities opened up by the master-plan.
A key characteristic of the building is the large timber arches which span the large hall with The Design & Research Centre will partly be dedicated to the disassembly, testing, modification and reassembly of the electric car prototypes. This means that the engineers must be fully aware of how the car both comes apart and goes back together again. It is because of this that a decision has been made to make the secondary timber structure visible to reflect this notion of this notion of de-constructing and reconstructing within the building. The building itself is designed to merge into the landscape using the slope in the site to sink the building into the ground whilst matching the contours and thus depict the orientation of the building.