Dualchas Architects has been chosen for a new ‘satellite’ visitor centre on the Isle of Lewis to serve the uninhabited St Kilda archipelago nearby
The Skye-based practice – working with Norway’s Reiulf Ramstad Architects (RRA) – is drawing up plans for the facility in Mangurstadh which will provide access to St Kilda’s history without travelling to the remote island.
Inhabited for at least two millennia, St Kilda was evacuated in 1930 and its ruined buildings and landscape are now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Backed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Ionad Hiort project is intended to provide a global exemplar for ‘remote access’ to similar locations.
Ionad Hiort chair Iain Buchanan said: ‘The vision presented by Dualchas and RRA was outstanding and we are confident that we have people of the highest calibre developing every aspect of the project, in close consultation with local interests.’
Dualchas director Neil Stephen commented: ‘Our connection to the Hebridean islands and experience of development in rural communities in the west of Scotland should give us a specific insight into what is required.’
He continued: ‘This has to be a true collaboration which gives the wider community of the Western Isles a sense of ownership. With careful thought, ambition and flair, the centre will emerge not only as a celebration of these magical islands but as a world-class hub that is a driver of investment and change.’
Images of Dualchas’ and RRA’s masterplan are expected to be revealed in the coming month. A symposium focusing on the innovative project will be held at the An Lanntair arts centre in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis on 18 August.
St Kilda visitor centre site Image by Dualchas