ALDABRA SEYCHELLES VISITOR'S CENTER
The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian, located nearly 1,000 miles off the east coast of Africa. The islands are ecological gems, and scarcely inhabited. Perhaps the most precious of the islands, the Aldabra Atoll, is a remote coral atoll home to the world's second largest coral reef, the largest population of giant tortoises, and numerous rare and endemic species. As a national treasure, the Aldabra Atoll features prominently in the minds of the Seychellois, but as access is limited to research and conservationists. The atoll, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is entrusted to the Seychelles Island Foundation (SIF).
As a way to bring the wonders of the atoll to the Seychellois and tourists alike, the SIF commissioned an invited competition for the design of a museum in the nation's capital, Victoria, on the island of Mahe. Terrain teamed up with Danny Forster Design Studio and ARUP to submit a proposal. The design is a complex mix of museum, research and office spaces with an exoskeleton of environmentally and orientation attuned louvers to help shade and cool the building. Terrain designed a living, public exhibit featuring boardwalks and classrooms over a restored mangrove habitat aimed at giving visitors a peek of the atoll ecosystem on display within the museum. The mangrove also provides habitat for a the famous Aldabra Tortoises, present throughout the islands, allowing for a first hand experience of the spectacular flora and fauna.