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International design competition launched to re-engineer Tristan da Cunha

The Government of Tristan da Cunha has launched a design competition to completely revamp the community infrastructure of what is the most remote inhabited island in the world.

The competition is being run by RIBA Competitions on behalf of the Government of Tristan da Cunha.

The competition is seeking innovative, cost-effective approaches for the re-design and consolidation of Tristan’s government (community infrastructure) buildings; initiatives to significantly improve the living standards and performance of residential properties; together with improvements to the Island’s agrarian systems to better support grazing and the year-round growth of fresh produce. Many of the government buildings - which lean more towards agricultural sheds as opposed to the usual notion of a government edifice - are nearing the end of their useful life and need to be re-provided to meet the future means and needs of the community.

Design teams must be led by a practising registered architect. Five concept designs will be shortlisted for further development with each shortlisted design teams receiving an honorarium of £3,000 with the winner an additional £2,000.

Tristan da Cunha

Situated within the South Atlantic Ocean, the island lays 2,800km south-west of Cape Town. Life on Tristan is ruled largely by the weather, with the island only being accessible by sea on approximately 60 days per year due to the severity of the ocean swells and limitations of the harbour facility.

Tristan da Cunha actually consists of four islands - Tristan (the main island), Nightingale and Inaccessible, which together form a group, and Gough Island that lies more than 300km to the south-east.  Inaccessible and Gough are both UNESCO World Heritage sites with Gough being home to a small meteorological station where up to nine scientists live for a year at a time. Tristan is the only island with a permanent community, known as Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, which has a population of around 270 people.


The judging panel includes Tristan da Cunha administrator and head of government Alex Mitham and John Whiles as the RIBA Architect Adviser.

For further details and how to enter please visit

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