Gaia Architects

Autonomous Outdoor Education

Camas Centre, Isle of Mull

Client: The Iona Community

The Iona Community asked Gaia to carry out a feasibility study for the refurbishment of the Camas Centre. The centre provides opportunities for young people with difficulties, and helps them address concerns of justice, peace and ecological awareness to encourage personal and spiritual development.

The challenge of the study was to find a way of introducing essential improvements, without losing the simplicity that is an important part of the Camas experience.

Camas seeks to achieve its aims by sharing a simple lifestyle; building community and personal relationships; creative and adventure activities; reflections, discussion and spiritual exploration and helping everyone to take responsibility for their own participation and the functioning of the whole group.

The work involved finding imaginative new uses for existing materials, as a general ecological principle, but also retaining the character that these materials contribute to the history and sense of place. An integral part of the study was the development of a strategy of complete self-sufficiency in energy terms.

The project is now complete and has been achieved on a very tight budget. After Stage C the project was administered from the Gaia Birnam office (now closed)