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Iolaire Centre


Comhairle nan Eilean Siar




Design Proposals

In the early hours of New Year’s Day 1919, more than 200 men, returning home from the First World War, drowned a short distance from land when their ship, the HMV Iolaire struck rocks near Stornoway Harbour on the Hebridean island of Lewis.

The Vision for the Iolaire Centre is to share the story of this tragedy and its impact on the islanders. The Centre will not only commemorate the tragedy but will mark a turning point for the island which is moving on and up, economically and culturally.

The Centre will act as a catalyst for the Stornoway Vision Regeneration Plan and the Stornoway Port Authority Masterplan. It will be a key part of the harbour development and a vital economic driver for Stornoway and the greater island.

The concept design creates a journey through fragments to a destination – a tower with views to the disaster site. The fragmented form of the building creates a network of enclosed and open spaces, frames views, and creates a variety of experiences throughout the multi-function facility. An external framework of mast-like structures link the separate masses and define the journey along the pier.