As part of an invited competition, the proposal for the new Royal Yacht Club in Guernsey was designed to belong to the visual language of the adjacent shoreline and to be a reflection of the intended building use. The distinct 'boat like' forms tip and turn, mimicking a collection of upturned boat hulls, with the intention that local boat builders would be commissioned to make each building shape within their warehouses as part of the proposals. Public communal WC and shower blocks are segregated out from the main conjoined building forms for practical reasons, whilst a new restaurant at first floor level would democratically offer public diners as well as club members the opportunity of fantastic sea views whilst dining. The scheme was well received from both members of the public and the members alike, and was featured in the BBC's coverage of the event. In the conservative setting of the island, as anticipated, all of the proposals sparked fierce debate with the local residents, leaving all proposals unrealised.
The competition brief called for a design that could withstand and sustain the likely potential for future flooding. The preservation of the new building from flooding was of paramount importance to inform the new buildings design. We toyed with the notion of raising the building high in the air to avoid the associated flood risks but we felt the repercussions this had to the buildings functionality, particularly the additional distances post competing sailors would have to travel to change and warm up and also the possibility of the building becoming an intrusive presence on the natural landscape, would be detrimental to the scheme. Instead we focused on reducing travel distances to increase functionality and to facilitate this proposed a ‘sacrificial’ heavyweight robust lower ground floor capable of withstanding flooding, with a lightweight celebrational structure anchored above, to rejoice in the buildings setting by maximising views of the lake. A building to be proud of, providing facilities to be enjoyed by both sailors and spectators alike.