Whites Landing Cove

Catalina, CA


Whites Landing, Catalina Eco-Camp


Whites Landing is a experience camp on the island of Catalina that caters to children doing activities including studying oceanography, island ecology, and participating in group activities such as kayaking, diving, hiking and the like. The camp was built in the 50’s by the Boy Scouts of America for far fewer people than it currently accommodates.


Our design solution creates a new masterplan, expansion of food service and other camp amenities including a prototype of a new housing unit and service kiosks. Shown here is our solution for the ‘Activity Hub’ where the main gathering and dining areas are housed.


The Owner tasked us with updating the camp utilizing sustainable building methods to reinforce their branding message as ‘ecologically friendly’. One of the ways this was accommodated was by expanding the existing buildings through adaption. This also was helpful with construction costs as the ability to export materials to the island is prohibitive. The solution was a Pole Barn type construction method that rely’s on pile driven treated poles, to minimizes the use of concrete, and straddling over the existing cafeteria. The new structure weaves its way around the existing and adds accommodations for two new classrooms, extended covered dining area, reception and staging areas as well as an outdoor assembly area.


The entire roof structure allows for tunable air aperture vent slots controlled along the length of the roof – doubling as heat evacuation when needed. Photovoltaic cells are incorporated along the new roof area and are anticipated to create enough energy to run all the camp services other than the kitchen. The separation of the roof from the walled surfaces also allows for baffled, natural light to wash in through the upper windows and double as cross ventilation apertures when needed.


Rough sawn lumber is anticipated throughout.

Project URL: Catalina Experience