Government Offices, Little Bay, Montserrat 2019

Government Offices, Little Bay, Montserrat 2019

Our proposal draws on the Caribbean heritage of buildings with large roofs, perimeter balconies, solar shading and the use of timber. Formed of three linked blocks representing the three organisations housed in the building, the structure tapers upwards to reduce the impact of hurricanes. The blocks are shifted in plan, making the most of views to Little Bay and beyond. Perimeter balconies provide a zone for shading the offices from the sun.

The building is positioned towards the north-east of the site, with the blocks sheltering an entrance plaza. The main entrance is to the east, positioned at the upper level of the sloping site. Taking advantage of the terrain, car parking is located below the entrance floor of the building - making efficient use of the land available, providing shading to cars and allowing wind to flow under in the event of a hurricane.

Internally, each floor has office spaces positioned to the south and west looking towards the bay. Support spaces are located to the north together with the building’s cores. Vertical shafts act as thermal chimneys, taking advantage of the stack effect to draw natural ventilation through the building. The design uses simple passive methods including daylighting, solar shading and thermal mass to achieve environmental efficiency.