New Regional Marine Research Hub Facilities at the Charles Darwin Research Station in Galapagos

28 Aug 19 /

The new regional marine science building at the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galapagos Islands, a refurbished building for marine science logistics and a transformed building into a modern conference venue, makes the Inspiration Complex project. CDF started its construction in November 2018 and the completion of the project is expected for mid-2020. It is the first time in decades that new facilities are built at the Research Station Campus in the archipelago. The construction of the Inspiration Complex is only possible thanks to the support of the COmON Foundation from the Netherlands.

Sketches of the Inspiration Complex
Sketches of the Inspiration Complex.

The Inspiration Complex will have new offices for the marine team, a new quarantine station for all fieldwork procedures, four research pools, wet and dry laboratory, a conference venue for local, national and international events and conferences among other facilities for scientists.

The Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation, Dr. Arturo Izurieta said, “certainly, the Inspiration Complex will be an ecological building with a low impact on the environment, which is being built in the same area where the old infrastructure was allocated, making the most of the resources and providing our and worldwide scientists with a new space for their daily work generating knowledge”.

The Inspiration Complex is born from the old dining room of the Charles Darwin Research Station, which for many decades was the social space where brilliant ideas amongst scientists were generated and networks built. Now, the Foundation is recovering this space through the construction of a visionary new project.

Old dining room of the Charles Darwin Research Station
Old dining room of the Charles Darwin Research Station. Photo by: Joshua Vela, CDF.

An Ecuadorian construction company using local labor is executing this emblematic project that was designed by a local architect. The Inspiration Complex Project incorporates three important axes: drinking water, management and wastewater processing and a green roof that help to cool down the temperature of the building. The building will include a freshwater treatment plant, solar heaters, and a sewage bio-treatment plant.

Inspiration Complex Under Construction
Inspiration Complex under construction. Photo by: Bryan Pérez, CDF.

John Loudon, COmON foundation CEO, comments: “COmON foundation is proud to be the donor of Inspiration Complex because it combines space for science, space for meetings and interaction and lastly space for learnings for many stakeholders. The complex sets the example for applied conservation sciences, sustainable building, sustainable waste- and water management and equally important, sustainable energy use. Therefore, Inspiration Complex is truly inspiring for the Galapagos as a whole”.

Another important characteristic of its construction is the efficient use of the natural resources available on the island, reusing rocks and wood removed from the old building, and local materials that facilitate the aesthetic integration of the building into the natural landscape.

The Inspiration Complex will be a functional space for research and will incorporate a sustainable architecture model for the Archipelago, which marks the start of a larger strategy to develop a “Zero-Footprint” plan for the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park campus in Santa Cruz island.

Andres Cruz

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