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  • Writer's pictureLisa Foster

Dominica: Kiosks Transforming Lives

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

Since establishing ourselves in Dominica in 2014, NSG has performed many functions on the island, including technical consulting offering structural redesigns for Roseau and Portsmouth; Hurricane relief post TS Erica in 2015 and Hurricane Maria in 2017, involving the construction of over 12 bridges; hundreds of meters of 4-meter-high river walls; as well as redesigning and reconstructing a major road in the city of Roseau. However, few of these projects has impacted a community as much as the redesign and construction of a stretch of land along the Roseau River called Riverbank Street.

Positioned on the south side of the Roseau River, what used to be a single public toilet, sewer and disorganised bus stop has been transformed into a modern, clean, boardwalk with food and supply vendors in kiosks with benches, tables, tent coverings, landscaping, new clean bathrooms. Most importantly, this new space is where Dominicans can go to meet, greet, drink and eat all under cover, with live music, sea breeze and the camaraderie of friends and family in time well spent.

After finishing the construction of a 155 meter stretch of River Wall on the Roseau River in the latter half of 2019, NSG was asked to pave the newly created area. Instead of just paving or adding more concrete, NSG implemented a creative design which would later become known as the ‘Promenade’, involving the addition of raised and lowered ends creating an elevated, flat service for public use. The space is adjacent the river and is behind the newly finished River Wall providing protection from river flow. The street was redesigned and engineered to eliminate above ground wires and utilities bringing everything underground and leaving a wider, clean ground surface pleasing to the eye and useful in its additional space for parking, walking and living.

Details of construction include custom concrete works with the ‘Boardwalk’, stamped and adobe coloured concrete to create the look of a wooden deck. It gives a softer and more personal touch to a large public space. We custom stamped and coloured over 1,300 sq. sq meters of space by hand, to create a unique look and inviting environment for vendors and customers alike. All storm drains in the stamped deck were custom as well, and subdued to give a seamless, professional look to the deck, allowing water to exit without the large public drains which otherwise would have become a tripping hazard not to mention eyesore.

With the decks completed, the kiosks finished and the area open to the public, the landscaping enhanced and illuminated for nighttime ambiance installed, the only missing piece was the addition of permanent tent structures to cover the kiosks from sun exposure and rain.

We wanted permanent, hurricane resistant, heavy duty structures which would not only serve to block sun and rain, but to provide an aesthetically pleasing addition with a touch of class.

At 65 meters long, the structure would need substantial base support. Each of the 22 columns rests on and is welded to a 2-ton steel-reinforced, high-pressure concrete base column. As the ground underneath declines to two axis’s, both south and west, we had to create a uni-level platform to accommodate terrain leveling so as to give the tent an even appearance. This meant 22 different elevations had to be created making each base a custom construction with unique, specific coordinates.

The tent structure itself is also custom-made steel tubes, sealed, primed and painted for this specific location near the sea. Its fabric is tensile-wrapped PVC with Kevlar stands and was designed to drain water; counter wind speeds up to 100 mph and withstand the pounding sun for years. The tent took 6 months to produce and 1 month to install including the construction of the bases.

Once the frame was secured to the deck, the custom fabric had to be stretched and applied under pressure. Once attached to the tongue and groove slides on top, each of the 6 panels had to be pulled tight. The finished covers stretched over the space giving the overall structure a singular appearance.

The finished product delivered in March of 2021 was nothing short of spectacular with the opening of ‘The Promenade’. The magic of the tents and kiosks is that it appeals to the Dominican style of being outdoors, meeting impromptu in the street and being spontaneous. The people of Roseau now have a safe and well kept meeting place to go to – a place to relax, to do business in and to be very proud of!

May 2021

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