Marks Barfield has won an international competition to design a visitor centre for the Aldabra coral island in the Seychelles
The practice saw off competition from five others including Wilkinson Eyre, WWT Consulting – a subsidiary business of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust - New York’s Danny Forster Design Studio, and a team from Zurich University headed up by Dirk Hebel.
The London-based practice is working with exhibition designers Real Studios and environmental engineer Ritchie Daffin to draw up designs for a new visitor centre on the nearby island of Mahe.
The centre will provide experience of the Aldabra Atoll for those unable to visit due to its remoteness and access difficulties.
The Aldabra Atoll is part of the Seychelles archipelago in the Western Indian Ocean and is one of the largest raised ring-shaped coral reefs in the world.
The reef, which is home to the world’s largest population of giant tortoises, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 and is protected by the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF).
SIF Chairman Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, SIF chairman said the project was ‘destined to be a design unlike any other, befitting a project of this scale and a World Heritage Site of such importance.’