West Beach Cafe by Asif Khan



Architect Asif Khan has completed West Beach Cafe, a beach cafe at Littlehampton in England.


The cafe is the sister of East Beach Cafe designed by Thomas Heatherwick, which opened last year. See our story about East Beach Cafe.


The following is from the cafe owners:


WEST BEACH CAFE – fish & chips

Hot on the heels of the multi-award winning building at East Beach, fantastic fish & chips will be served every day of the week in the WEST BEACH CAFE designed by Asif Khan.


Khan, 28, is a brilliant graduate of London’s world renowned avant-garde architectural school, The Architectural Association – alumni include Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers.


The cafe is at the mouth of the River Arun and right on West Beach, Littlehampton - a beautiful, unspoilt beach and a designated area of Special Scientific Interest.


West Beach Cafe offers eat-in or take-away fish & chips, home made fishcakes and local ice cream plus one of the best views on the South Coast.


Created by East Beach Cafe head chef, Ritz-trained David Whiteside, the menu includes: fish & chips, salmon & parsley fishcakes, fried smelts, scampi, home made pea puree, toasted sandwiches, toasted fruit bread, local farmhouse cakes, locally roasted coffee & local ice cream.


All fish is from sustainable sources.


Even the cafe itself has been made locally –from the furniture to the lighting, the signage, the steelwork and the window frames – each item has been hand made by local craftsmen, many based in Littlehampton.








Posted on Friday October 17th 2008 at 3:02 am by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • andy

    I think the biggest compliment i could give this building, is that it looks as though its always been there.

  • zetre


  • Soupdragon

    Well done Asif, looks like it’ll be a great place in both summer and especially on a nice fresh winter day tucking into some great fish and chips, watching the waves outside.

  • *MIRTEC*

    very true andy…
    and an amazing door-system as well.. nice detailing!

    and to dezeen: thanks for a complete post (pictures, plans, details, etc).. every project should be shown like this..

  • mias

    this is it. a. m. a. z. i. n. g. well done!

  • jed_

    i absolutely LOVE this. it’s so apt, so simple and, yes, so cute.

  • One

    ASIF, I like the way the building sit, it is charming and very seductive to go there and have a coffee. it would be a place for everyone. I like brutal solution to open all wall like this, it is certainly unseen in such building.

  • brilliant, minimal, colourful, to the point and useful.. what architecture should be about. great job! :)

  • Mark

    A simple pleasure visually, just like fish and chips and icecream!

    Well done Asif.

  • JuiceMajor²

    Saw this on BD and thought the source of where the construction solution come from is very well research and thought put! Definitely the only well-designed F*C shop!

  • Post

    sorry, but i can’t be that positive like the others before … the idea might be nice, a variable building by simply opening a whole wall .. but the final outcome is quite lame. It seriously lacks of any fine details, it looks like cheaply built from cheap readymade peaces .. the massive blue frames … the chunky roof. And doesn’t the rabbit hutch fence in front of the window totally caricature the idea of openness?

  • Piotr

    Steel window frame – massive cold bridge.
    I’d love to see a frost inside the cafe one cold January morning.

  • windbag

    agree with Post, first word that came to mind was “cheap”.

  • The echo

    A wheelchair ramp would be nice.

  • tengyun

    to dezeen:
    I’m from china.My English is poor.yesterday,My message is the Chinese language for use.But ,it was deleted.
    I am sad.
    but ,thanks for a complete post

  • bas

    awesome! wish i lived near a beach n could visit that daily!

  • Q

    I think a builder can do this without an architect.
    Most of the people who left positive comments i assume are all buddies of Asif.

    • Kate

      … and his mum.

  • David Knight

    The day that ‘cheap’ becomes a synonym with ‘bad’ I think I’ll give up on the profession.
    Having been down there to take a look, I think it’s a lovely little building that does its job with economy and grace and sits very happily in the context of its coastal setting.
    And I see by looking at the plans that I did indeed enter it via a ‘wheelchair ramp’.

  • steve-o

    a great little project!

    for those who don’t get it here are some answers to your questions:

    Q. where are the fine details?
    A. uh, it’s a fish and chip shop.

    Q. it looks cheap!
    A. uh… and again fish and chip shop…

    Q. a wheelchair ramp?
    A. looks like there’s one on the side, check the plan.

    Q. who needs an architect for this?
    A. if you’ve see the same bog standard concrete-block, lino-floored fish and chip shops that I have then I think the answer is self-evident.

    Q. ew that fence in front of the windows is so ugly!
    A. ever heard of public liability? anyway the wall opens for the view and the breezes (I’m assuming). Not so 16 year olds on an ice cream high can practice their high jumping!

    thanks deezen for posting some modest scale architecture – nice to be reminded that you can acheive something worthwhile with a budget under $100M! :)

  • g_nice

    shout out to your boy paul rudolph.

  • adam furman

    “Most of the people who left positive comments i assume are all buddies of Asif.”

    Well mr Q, I am not his friend and I am f*#ng in love with this caf. For all the reasons listed above and more.

  • Daniel

    I agree that this is a very nice piece of minimal architecture, even if it doesn’t match some people’s idea of what’s fashionable at the moment. This building makes me want to go to Littlehampton just to eat some ships there.

    Whoever was grumbling about cold bridges obviously didn’t notice that this thing is supposed to be open to the elements; and the barrier deals with safety issues quite neatly.

  • Brookes Student

    i went with my university to visit the cafe and met asif there. its quite interesting the points that have been made so far. Example, the point about a builder being able to do this on their own without an architect, is actually quite similar to what asif said; Para phrasing, “we had a close relationship (working mainly only with one builder) i had trust in the builder working on the project and felt confident to let him deal with some of the construction issues.”

    Also, the cheap comments. It WAS ridiculously cheap to construct and i think this is one of its major positive points. The steel frames were made literally 400 yards down the road, another interesting point is that the building isnt “heated,” using only the heat from the cooking equipment, whether this works in reality we didnt get an opportunity to find out.

  • Monica Effendy

    It’s a nice tiny cafe..I read asif’s west beach cafe in abitare magazine..
    the idea about how to make a cafe itself to transform as a stage is very good.. I also like the door detail
    it’s not cheap to me….
    keep creating, asif!

    arch. assistant at dp architects singapore..

  • amaaaaaazing bruv its really good.

  • UmmKulthum

    would have been more amazing if the floor could be extended, to double the space! but its just an okay design :)