City Architecture Office was appointed by Isle Futures to carry out a feasibility study for new community facilities at the Isle of Whithorn.|
The proposal is part of a long term regeneration project to improve the economic, social and environmental life of locals and encourage tourism.
The study established a preferred location and a brief for the new facilities that are linked to the existing Village Hall which is well used and supported by many local community groups. The accompanying report set out analysis, proposals, actions, priorities and possible funding sources.
The proposal has 4 key elements:
1. Community meeting space, cafe/ tea room & catering kitchen
2. A retail outlet
3. New public WCs
4. Full disabled accessibility
Other requirements are for additional storage space, low energy solutions and direct access onto the village Green and landscape beyond.
The design creates an inspiring place that is inclusive and accessible to all. It provides flexible accommodation for community uses and improves opportunities and use of the village Green.
Planning issues were identified and discussed with the local authority and the design responds sensitively to the conservation area setting.
The building can function off grid as a first response rescue hub in extreme weather events or emergencies. There is provision for a petrol power generator and solar power is harnessed due to the open southerly aspect of the site. Natural daylight is maximised to reduce reliance upon artificial lighting.
A community consultation established overwhelming support for the creation of new facilities in the conservation area of the village and further funding is now being sought to achieve the vision.