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IGuzzini Travelling Award

Eyemouth Wreck Conservation Hall

Part 1 Project 2008
Michael Fedak
Mackintosh School of Architecture | UK
Eyemouth Boat and Wreck Conservation Facility:
The facility is comprised of a central conservation hall, with three associated labs/repositories and a drafting room. In addition staff rest and support spaces and a seminar room are provided. The stabilization of salvaged wrecks requires strict environmental controls, implying a stable low energy thermal environment.

The sites dramatic level changes provides opportunity to shelter labs, but reduces solar exposure. Propping the staff support over river and a solar roof maximised potential solar gain. This also allowed the building punctuates the harbours end, its bulk relating to the neighbouring ship building sheds.

The site belongs as much to the harbour as the wider town. The harbours catalogue of eccentric craft provide context. Embodied in these floating structures is a library of changing technologies and practices. This provides a material vocabulary of utilitarian juxtapositions and a formal vocabulary based on the ad-on and multiuse.

The scheme seeks to maintain a stable thermal environment through passive insulation and active energy collection. A heavily insulated envelope and exposed thermal mass reduce heat gains and loses in the environmentally sensitive labs and conservation hall. The staff support is elevated and orientated to the south east maximise potential passive solar gain. Meanwhile the central atria provides opportunity for ventilation and air recovery. The roof spaces are used for solar air collection that reduces the energy consumption during the heating season. The structure is primarily lightweight timber and recyclable steel.

Michael Fedak

The project in question, located within the harbour area of the east-coast fishing settlement of Eyemouth, requires the provision of a facility with the environmentally challenging demands of shipwreck conservation.

The proposed facility is primarily a working space with accommodation comprising a boat conservation hall with associated laboratories, drawings room and support facilities for staff. In addition to these is an education space for meetings and organised visitor groups.

Within the project the student must determine and develop a sustainable viewpoint from the outset, and in developing a series of proposals for a completed building, should use this as a tool to reflect and refine form, function and materiality. Building placement, arrangement and envelope design are further promoted as the key factors in achieving the required internal environmental conditions.

The design brief establishes a building programme with explicit environmental criteria, to be achieved primarily through passive low-energy design. The site explored demands a detailed understanding of microclimate and relation to the surrounding urban morphology.

Students are challenged to assimilate environmental strategies, technological systems and constructional solutions within a phenomenologically rich architectural whole.

The proposal demonstrates this student’s ability to develop an architectural proposal which is environmentally intelligent and constructionally coherent, while accommodating the building programme, creating a working space of architectural quality and responding to the contingencies of the site set between the town and the water.

The proposal, through a series of examination and iterations, has come to provide an elegant and intriguing setting for a potential intangible industrial process. While the structural is reminiscent of the potential contents, the form and exterior language is careful to re-establish the town’s connection to the sea, and the inhabitant’s connection to the processes the town’s prosperity is dependant on.

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