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Whitby; Dalby Offshore


Project Details

£3m to £4.99M

New Build, Within a Conservation Area


Group Ginger

42a Park Place , Leeds , LS1 2RY

Following a competitive design process Group Ginger were appointed to design Yorkshire’s premier offshore, renewable centre. In the centre of historic Whitby, the new building will establish Dalby Off-shore’s Headquarters and act as a combined centre for Operations and Maintenance, Marine Control, Training and a Public Exhibition Centre. This development is the largest undertaking in the centre of Whitby in recent times. The site is part of the working harbour environment. The design complements the townscape and the conservation area to reinforce the waterfront. Group Ginger engaged the local interested community with the design proposals and the development. Early consultation informed the competition entry and responded to key feedback, to create a centre piece for Whitby, a design that followed wharf traditions to deliver a building that wasn’t ‘dull’. Waterfronts have historically presented the most valuable frontage. This has led to local distinctive massing and building forms. The wharf buildings traditionally have narrow gables fronting the river and extend back from the front to maximise value and efficiency. The fishing net huts in Hastings are also an expression of value manifest in architecture. The Net Shops are tall black wooden sheds which were built to provide a weather-proof store for the fishing gear made from natural materials to prevent them from rotting in wet weather. The sheds were originally built on posts to allow the sea to go underneath, however more shingle has built up and the sea no longer reaches the huts. We have followed this historical precedent to articulate the building form and make it appropriate to the historic context of Whitby. The varied gables and heights articulate the building in a way that reflects the incremental growth of Whitby over time. The historic character of Whitby has been generated over time and reflected in the scale of individual properties, ownerships, uses and position relative to the water front. Our design is orientated towards the key harbour frontage where materials and services will be loaded on and off the support vessels. This creates an active and varied massing fronting the harbour and reflects the complexity and variation on the opposite bank. The concept articulates the massing to reflect the different programmes but is carefully orchestrated to enable large single floor plates internally that can be space planned to allow for flexible arrangements and inter-department working. We are using traditional materials common to harbour side environments but in a modern interpretation and utilising modern construction techniques. We propose using a rain-screen façade where the external facing material is decorative and doesn’t provide the water and weather tight envelope. The facing materials can then be finely detailed avoiding large flashings and complicated detailing to resolve the geometric forms. The facing material of treated timber will provide material uniformity to enhance the composition of elements. A concrete flood defence building perimeter ensures that the ground floors risk of future flooding is minimised. This plinth is incorporated into the buildings design to raise floor levels.