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Projects >  St. Helena


In 1991, I was asked by a senior architect in the British Government’s Overseas Department for Administration (ODA; now the Department for International Development, DFID) to go to St Helena to design new buildings for the Island’s Public Works and Services Department (PW & SD).

St Helena is a volcanic, tropical island in the South Atlantic Ocean, 4,000 kilometres (2,500 miles) east of Rio de Janeiro and 1,950 kilometres (1,210 miles) west of Namibia. It is part of the British Overseas Territory of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha and is Britain's second-oldest overseas territory after Bermuda.

The island has an area of about 122 square kilometres (47 square miles) and a population of 4,534 (2016 census).  The climate is tropical but mild, tempered by the Benguela Current and the south-east trade winds that blow almost continuously.  Temperatures on the island range between 17° and 28°C, rain occurs in every month with the heaviest rainfall in March and July and it is frequently wet, cool and cloudy.​

​The terms of reference for the project were to prepare designs and working drawings for new buildings for PW & SD which at that time consisted of the Works Department; the Water and Energy Departments; the Transport Department; the Unallocated Stores and the Administration.

I spent three months on the island, from June to mid-September 1991 and on my return to UK prepared a complete set of working drawings for all of the buildings ready for the preparation of bills of quantities, obtained quotations for the steel frames for the workshops and stores and for other components and prepared a preliminary cost estimate.  The work carried out on this project led directly to the next project that I worked on in the Solomon Islands.

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