Conducted research has shown that the natural environment in the Maldives is under great stress due to human influences like land reclamation and the introduction of coastal structures. The waste problem in The Maldives is telling for the way the country deals with nature; waste is scattered over the islands because nature is not seen as something that should be preserved. This design for an IWMC tries to show that the natural environment of the Maldives is a valuable thing that should be cherished – and might even prove to be useful.
This is done by literally using the natural environment in the design of the WMC. The two functional areas of the WMC (a utilitarian space where waste is separated, cleaned and stored on one hand and a more creative workshop space – where the waste is made into something new – on the other) are used to express the vastly differing possibilities that nature brings.
The utilitarian space consists of a simple elevated platform between the trees with a canopy (supported by the palm trees) to protect the space from rain. The leaves of the palm tree forest of the site protect the working area against the sun. The workshop spaces consist of cocoon-like shapes in the trees, thus creating a more inspiring living and working environment.
Both building types enable the generation of knowledge for living closer to nature in the Maldives. By designing a WMC that depends on the existence of nature, the WMC could also serve as a starting point for a more respectful attitude towards the natural environment.