Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022

New WE Ferry Dock will be ‘organic and futuristic’! Works start July

New WE Ferry Dock will be ‘organic and futuristic’! Works start July

With preliminary designs for the new West End Ferry Terminal completed, Virgin Islanders can expect to see the construction of what is described as an organic and futuristic building in the coming months.

A German company, INROS Lackner SE, was awarded a $1,048,909 contract to provide project design and management services for the rebuild in August of last year.

Speaking at the public meeting hosted by the government yesterday, the Project Manager for the designs, Dr Karsten Galipp said the construction of the terminal is expected to begin in July of this year and be completed by November of next year.

Dr Gallip also noted the architectural designs of the building took into consideration the climatic conditions of the Virgin Islands and the possibility of experiencing additional hurricanes, considering the two that destroyed the ferry terminal back in 2017.

“We will include in the design flood protection measures definitely because of climate change and sea levels are rising. What exact kind of measures this will be, will be designed during the detailed design phase and as I said, we must submit a Climate Vulnerability Report. Based on the details, we will adjust the design so it can resist the rise in sea level,” the Project Manager said.

One of the architects on the project, Hans Vijoen, said the building is designed to protect against natural disasters. He said they have decided to use the mountainous backdrop of the location as an added means of protection from natural elements.

“We have decided to make an exterior skeleton which is very strong and concrete, and we put in between them several measures to protect the building from not only hurricanes but from the sun and rain. Also, the shell can open during sunny days,” Vijoen said.

“You can see that we put in between the ribs some solar panels. The roof is completely covered with solar panels so that you can generate extra energy there. We are very concerned about the night view because it is a tropical country, and the sun will set at around six o’clock — at the latest 6:30 — so a lot of traffic will be here during the evening hours, so we need a good design lighting concept for the terminal. You can see the exterior skeleton has a unique layout to give lighting to the building,” the architect added.

Architectural designs of the new West End terminal on Tortola. Construction of the terminal is expected to begin in July 2022 and be completed by November 2023.


Vijoen also noted the terminal will have a parking lot that will be suitable for the ever-changing car industry. He said they are looking to have charging ports for electrical cars in the parking lot.

Meanwhile, Premier Andrew Fahie said he appreciated the organic and futurist design as it takes into consideration the importance of a greener economy.

“They have solar power, hurricane resistance and preparedness measures. So, in terms of building eco-friendly structures to face the new environment, as a government we have asked the RDA (Recovery and Development Agency) to ensure that any rebuilding considers disaster preparedness and resilience so that generations in the future can continue to build on,” Fahie added.

The Project Manager for the RDA Sergio Dantas said the designs also takes into consideration disabled persons in the community. Dantas said it is important that the Virgin Islands make provisions for both locals and tourists who are disabled.

The rebuilding of the terminal has faced several setbacks because of the pandemic. According to Fahie, the West End port accounted for nearly 40 percent of the territory’s arrival before the hurricanes destroyed it in 2017.

A temporary facility was opened so that maritime service could be resumed at the facility.

Architectural designs of the new West End terminal on Tortola. Construction of the terminal is expected to begin in July 2022 and be completed by November 2023.

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