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The humble beach hut gets a 21st century makeover

A new tide of architecture has washed up on British shores after designers battled it out to redesign the humble beach hut.

A quirky shelter titled ‘What Unearthed?’ has cropped up on the seafront in Eastbourne after being revealed as the winner of an ambitious design contest run last year.

A far cry from the traditional colourful sheds that have come to epitomise British coastal towns, the new igloo-like structure features white translucent panels and angular lines.

‘What Unearthed?’ has been revealed as the winner of Eastbourne Council’s ambitious design contest

A far cry from the traditional colourful sheds which have come to epitomise British coastal towns, the new igloo-like structure features white translucent panels and angular lines

Created by award-winning Irish architect Stephen Foley and fabricated by Kevin Hoy of Cutting Edge UK, the contemporary design was apparently inspired by recent  archaeological discoveries in Eastbourne, including the Beachy Head Lady

A far cry from the traditional colourful sheds that have come to epitomise British coastal towns, the new igloo-like structure features white translucent panels and angular lines

Created by award-winning Irish architect Stephen Foley and fabricated by Kevin Hoy of Cutting Edge UK, the contemporary design was apparently inspired by recent archaeological discoveries in Eastbourne, including the Beachy Head Lady.

The ancient skeleton of a Roman woman that dates to 245 AD was discovered at the East Sussex beauty spot in 1953 and experts reconstructed her face in 2014.

The winning design has been installed east of the pier on the beach and offers a light airy space during the day. At night it comes alive, with interior lights providing a warm glow.

Locals will be able to book the space for pop-up events and tourists can rent it out to make their beach visit extra special. There is also a free day’s hire up for grabs.

Other designs that made it to the shortlist included a spyglass-shaped hut by Jak Studio, with a giant floor-to-ceiling window making up the front panel

Other designs that made it to the shortlist included a spyglass-shaped hut by Jak Studio, with a giant floor-to-ceiling window making up the front panel

The Star Gazers cabin by George King Architects, which features diagrams of the solar system, was also shortlisted

The Star Gazers cabin by George King Architects, which features diagrams of the solar system, was also shortlisted

Commenting on the design process, Stephen, who was recently given the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland’s Future Award for Emerging Architects, said: ‘We loved working on this project because it combines a lot of themes in our design research such as identity, technology and collaboration.

‘We worked very closely with the fabricators in order to make it as special as possible and also had input from Heritage Eastbourne during the build.

‘It does a lot with very little, responding to the site and brief in a monumental way but also to the budget in terms of being innovative with materials and structure.’ 

Students from Sussex Downs College also got involved, with their design getting shortlisted in the community category

Students from Sussex Downs College also got involved, with their design getting shortlisted in the community category

Eastbourne borough council lead cabinet member for tourism and enterprise, Margaret Bannister, said she was 'delighted' to see the first beach hut take shape. The other shortlisted designs in the Huts Eastbourne competition (above, Calder Peel's creation) are set to go up over the coming months

Eastbourne borough council lead cabinet member for tourism and enterprise, Margaret Bannister, said she was ‘delighted’ to see the first beach hut take shape. The other shortlisted designs in the Huts Eastbourne competition (above, Calder Peel’s creation) are set to go up over the coming months

Other designs that made it to the shortlist during 2016’s competition included a spyglass-shaped hut by Jak Studio, with a giant floor-to-ceiling window making up the front panel.

Students from Sussex Downs College also got involved, with their design making it to the top of the community category. 

Eastbourne borough council lead cabinet member for tourism and enterprise, Margaret Bannister, said she was ‘delighted’ to see the first beach hut take shape. 

The other shortlisted designs in the Huts Eastbourne competition are set to go up over the coming months.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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