Lochmaddy Pier in North Uist re-imagined in Degree Show project

Pier has potential to become innovative facility that aims to tackle ocean waste issue

Date posted

10 June 2021


A rundown pier in North Uist has the potential to be transformed into an innovative facility that tackles the ongoing issue of ocean waste thanks to the work of an Edinburgh Napier University student. 

As part of her final year project, Ann Macleod – an interior and spatial design student at Edinburgh Napier – has re-imagined Lochmaddy Pier as a unique hub for repurposing ocean waste called Bycatch. 

Utilising the existing building and piano studio at the pier itself, Bycatch’s unique design includes a new extension into the water which would allow for both fishing boats to land waste plastic caught on trips directly into the facility and for the facility to catch floating plastic on site. How bycatch would look like - exterior view

Once caught and landed, the plastic could be cleaned, stored and shredded before being made into desirable objects and materials completely on site in specialised storage and workshop areas. 

Ann – who is from Lochmaddy originally – has also included a reception and kitchen area in her design, as well as a catch café and shop that would sell products made directly in the facility. 

The materials used in Bycatch’s design takes inspiration from the ocean and its components, with recycled waste plastic featuring heavily in its interior design. 

Ann was inspired to develop plans for the site after learning about the impact ocean waste plastic has had on the area. 

Her family has fished in the region for many years and regularly comments on the increase in ocean plastic after a high tide or a storm. 

And with the area heavily reliant on tourism, Ann believes that now is the right time to act to help combat the worsening issue.  

She said: “When selecting a site for my project, I was told to pick something that meant a lot to me and the site at Lochmaddy Pier was an obvious choice. My family have lived in the village for years and it is really sad to see how rundown the pier has become over the last few years.

“Speaking to my brother who fishes in the area, it became apparent that fishermen in North Uist are very aware of the issues being caused by waste plastic, with many doing their bit and catching plastic when they are out on trips. 
“With this in mind, I thought I’d combine these two aspects and look at ways in how I could potentially repurpose the pier and combat the ongoing ocean plastic problem – so the idea for Bycatch was born.

“My new building design sits in the water itself and allows fishermen to land plastic they have caught out to sea directly to the facility itself. Once it is in Bycatch, it could be recycled and repurposed to make items and products for every day use. 

“Although my design is just a concept at this stage, hopefully it’s helped shine a spotlight on the potential that some of these underused and underinvested sites have – especially in tackling important issues such as plastic waste and sustainability. How Bycatch would look like - exterior view 2

“I would love if projects like mine became the norm in the future, helping preserve our beautiful islands alongside coming up with new ways of thinking that could be used in Scotland and further afield.”

Ann’s project Bycatch was devised as part of her final year project at Edinburgh Napier University where she is studying interior and spatial design. 

Her work is being exhibited this week online at the University’s annual Degree Show event – a celebration of the brightest and best talent from its School of Arts and Creative Industries.