The design concept of the proposed building draws on the iconography of a lighthouse with its adjoining service buildings.
The contrast between the vertical element of the lighthouse and entrance tower and a horizontal row or terrace of one and two storey fishing bothies sitting raised above the potential flood tides creates a strong image which can be developed to clearly express client’s affinity with the sea and their desire for the building to welcome and help the visitors and local inhabitants who use the harbour. It can also be used to create a visually strong and robust building which sits comfortably within the 19th century fabric of the town.
The organisation of the four main elements or different functions within the building respond closely to the orientation of the building, the natural and existing circulation routes around the building, the views to and from the site, the inter-relationship between the various activities and the physical restraints of the site.
The lighthouse or tower forms the main entrance and vertical circulation core which provides access to the offices on the first floor and the meeting room on the second floor. The contrasting horizontal bothy wings accommodate – the visitor centre in the west range below the offices and the garage in the single storey southeast range. The showers and toilets are arranged behind the entrance tower and wings in a lean-to structure which draws its inspiration from the local vernacular traditions and planned historic buildings.
The tower is positioned to command the arrival point from the pontoons and accommodate the change in axis from the car park (arrival from land) and the pontoon, boat compounds and potential route to further reclaimed land to the southeast (arrival from the sea). The visitor centre relates more closely to the town and its orientation commands the views over the car park to the bay and main street. The offices and meeting room within the tower have been designed to exploit the outstanding views across the bay. The orientation and location of the garage and building services is intended to distance the associated vehicular movements as far as possible from the main entrance to the building.