Creative Dundee

Blog: The Pier by Tehmina Ahmad

Tehmina Ahmad is a recent graduate of Interior and Environmental Design from DJCAD. As an Interior and Architectural Designer, Tehmina recognises the importance to establish a better understanding of the needs of people and their surroundings. She is passionate and ambitious about undertaking a diverse range of social, cultural and environmental issues within our society today and bringing creative designs to life, with the use of minimal, natural and sustainable materials. You can read our full archive of blogs here!


THE PIER reimagines an old ferry terminal in Newport-on-Tay, designed by Scottish architect Thomas Telford, which celebrates the breathtaking views of the River Tay and the sunset. It is a safe space for vulnerable people and a welcoming destination for the local community; where they can achieve peace of mind, contemplate, and anchor themselves to nature. With my main focus group being victims of domestic abuse, I have created a cocoon-like space that is an easily accessible touchpoint which provides the necessary support in re-establishing positive momentum in their life.

The east side of the Telford building includes a café and an indoor kids playground. Cladded walls were used on each side of the building allow for visitors to view into the cafe and into the kids playgrounds. This allows for a healthy and inclusive atmosphere in the shared environment between generations. From the interior, visitors have a view of the River Tay and activities happening on the pier.

The west side of the Telford building includes kitchen table room for discrete therapy; where families can come and enjoy cooking a meal together, have a cup of tea and enjoy the atmosphere. On the mezzanine level there are couple of cosy reading corners for kids and adults to enjoy group reading sessions or individual quiet time to sit, read and reflect with the calming view of the water. The extension next to the west side of the Telford building has an area dedicated for yoga, with floor to ceiling height windows to create a meditative atmosphere with the sunset view.

The existing pier has been redesigned and repurposed, it now features six new-build sheltered ‘Pods on the Pier’ which include:

01. Information and ticket pod

This is were people can come to get information regarding any activities that are happening, services that are running or they can get their Ferry tickets.

02. Therapy hut 01 // for a family with kids + 03. Therapy hut 02 // for a couple

These are not just therapy rooms with seating, it is a place to feel safe inside. The way the interior has been designed, it is to provide a cocoon like environment inside the therapy clinic for adults and children, with a breathtaking view.


04. Self-defence and martial arts training studio

The self-defence classes will be able to make victims of domestic abuse feel confident again, and become emotionally and physically stable.

05. Dance studio

Aerial and Ballet dancing classes for children as well as adults.

06. An art therapy studio.

Art therapy for children is essential, it helps them grow, find a beautiful distraction and devolve and learn something new.

There will be Ferry and Water Taxi services available for public tours and for families to hire. On the pier, there are three amphitheaters for people to sit, relax, embrace nature and enjoy the sunset. The design also focuses on the construction of the Pier Piles; timber Elm is used for sustainability and longevity under water. However, the chamfered shape of the Pier Piles are contemporary and non-traditional. Materials that are used in the interior, extension and new-build parts of the design were selected in relation to the influence they can have on people’s attitude and emotional experience of the space.


Find out more about Tehmina’s work here.


Title here