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RIBA contest opens for world’s remotest inhabited island

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The RIBA has launched an international competition to overhaul government buildings on the remote islands of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic Ocean

The contest aims to create a ‘more self-sustainable future’ for the 270-strong island community which is also known as Edinburgh of the Seven Seas.

‘Innovative and cost-effective’ proposals are sought to overhaul existing government buildings and community infrastructure on the island.

Initiatives to improve living standards, residential properties and agrarian systems are also required.

Located around 2,800km south-west of Cape Town, Tristan is thought to be the remotest inhabited Island in the word. 

Along with nearby Nightingale, Inaccessible and Gough – Tristan is part of a grouping of islands known as Tristan da Cunha.

The settlement is only accessible by sea around 60 days each year due to its limited harbour and the severity of the ocean swells.

Tristan da Cunha administrator and head of government Alex Mitham said: ‘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.’

He continued: ‘We live in a time when you can step on a plane and be almost anywhere in the world within 24 hours.  However Tristan is truly unique, and offers a fantastic opportunity for designers from around the world to have a beneficial impact on how Tristanian’s live and work for years to come. I wish everyone the best of luck.’

RIBA architect adviser John Whiles of Jestico + Whiles commented:  ‘This is an intriguing competition to create the very best holistic solutions for the diverse needs of this Community, who are committed to advancing their lives, their skills and their future in an absolutely sustainable way.’

Five shortlisted teams will receive around £3,000 each to participate in the competition’s second stage and the overall winner will take home a £2,000 prize.

The deadline for entries to the anonymous first phase is 2pm BST on 2 June






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