Plymouth’s Ocean Dome
The new concept design for ‘Plymouth’s Ocean Dome’ addresses key issues by integrating the building into the landscape at the edge of Hoe Park. Its curved forms sympathetically reflect the former cliff, as well as vastly improving the currently obstructed view from Hoe Park.
Its roof extends the area of Hoe Park, providing additional recreational space, uninterrupted views, and an area which can form the base for outdoor performances. This will create an ideal opportunity to reorientate events on the Hoe whilst utilising the natural form of the adjacent landscapes as one big ‘amphitheatre’.
The lower floors will each have a balcony providing a slightly different, unobstructed view of Plymouth Sound, space for outdoor seating, and a perfect vantage point for annual events such as the British Fireworks Championships and sailing regattas.
A fabric-first design approach focussing on high levels of insulation will be developed. Given the locations’ Conservation Area status, renewable energy technologies such as solar panels or wind generation is unlikely to be acceptable. Instead, a passive approach towards sustainability will be taken. The South facing glazed facade, together with the deep balcony overhangs will provide shade in the summer but permit the entry of sun in the winter to provide natural solar gains. This will dramatically reduce the energy requirements of active cooling and heating systems, and thus also reduce annual running costs.
Whilst Plymouth is a fantastic place to be in the summer, we do get the occasional bit of rain. Each of the three floors will have the additional benefit of dedicated outside covered space providing shelter and maximising year-round use. Even in the winter when sitting outside is not possible, the projecting balconies will provide shelter for passing walkers, and a prime location for sightseeing. The recessed main entrance will provide a secure, overlooked space for visitors to gather and shelter from the prevailing south westerly winds.