Silver Promenade café by Arca



Manchester architects Arca have completed a beach café on the promenade in Morecambe, UK.


A band of stainless-steel cladding wraps around the sides and roof of the cafe, and overhangs the two glazed facades that face the promenade and the bay.


In front of the cafe there is a south-facing outdoor seating area on two levels.


Photography by Timothy Soar.


Below is some more information from Arca:


Silver Cafe, Morecambe

Arca’s Silver Cafe on the promenade in Morecambe is now complete. It provides a distinctive new landmark for the town. The new cafe and public toilets were commissioned by regeneration body 'Winning Back Morecambe', part of Lancaster City Council.


Central to the design are window panels that span the length of the building on both the front and back. A silver stainless steel band wraps the space, framing views of Morecambe Bay through its glazed facades and withstanding the harsh marine climate. This shiny organic form acts as a 'full stop' to the western end of the seafront.


Raised on a series of terraces, the pavilion sits above the sea-defence, and provides a south-facing outdoor seating area for use by the café. In use, the cafe seating can spill out to occupy the various levels of the terracing, animating the public space around. For the toilets, robust matt painted steel with warmer oak hardwood doors and fittings are used.


Arca was founded by John Lee after leaving Grimshaw in 1998. The practice quickly won attention for its open approach to creating and running a small design-led practice, as finalists in 2000 in both Young Architect of the Year, and Young Architectural Practice of the Year


Recent projects include Greengate, Salford’s tallest building, the refurbishment at Tate Liverpool and residential development Garnham Lee House in Highgate, London. High profile competition wins included the Timber Wharf Competition for Urban Splash, and the Hulme/Knott Mill Link Bridge, both in Manchester.The firm also received business and management awards for its approach to organisational structures, named as one of the UK’s innovative ‘Vision 100’ companies in 2000.


Other Dezeen stories about beach cafes:



West Beach Cafe by Asif Khan


East Beach Cafe by Thomas Heatherwick


East Beach Cafe interior

Posted on Saturday January 31st 2009 at 12:08 pm by Rachael Sykes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Phil Lehar

    Cool. It will pull in so much business the customers will be packed like sardines in a tin.

  • john

    nice architecture, but my god thats a miserable looking place.

  • Anonymous


  • nathan

    what’s with architects and those particular outdoor chairs? is there something i’m missing in their greatness? i see them everywhere!

  • Peter Drew

    I love the structure and materials but what inappropriate, clumsy lettering. Do architects have influence over signage?

  • William Smith

    There’s a nice simplicity to it that makes it feel whole. While some might complain that it doesnt relate to it’s surrounding context to well, I feel that in this case its quite alright. I like the thickness to it also.

  • Richie

    Re: “miserable looking place” – I don’t think so, it looks like a typical English seaside town to me! Those kind of places can have a soft beauty or at least a charm to them that maybe isn’t directly apparent in photos that only show a limited context. The building looks fine, though the cladding seems somewhat industrial to me on first reaction.

  • I love that industrial cladding in this case! in my opinion furniture and outdoor chairs really went wrong.

  • bas

    amazing!! i love this trend of interesting beach huts!!! but maybe someone should just copy some Arne Jacobsen since he, in my believes, designed the most wonderful of all!

  • CYL

    i don’t really agree this settlement is very nice.
    i imagan when i walk to this building,
    it give me a not comfortable feeling,
    juz like a big stone nearly fall down to me…..
    is so solid.
    although the construction maybe complex and need to calculate a lot ,
    the design not really can show me the morden feeling…
    juz like a steel case put onto the grond……

  • Ben

    @ Ritchie: Agreed many English seaside towns have that soft beauty and charm you talk of, but I found Morecambe to be one of the ones that feels like a washed-up, Victorian era dead end town. I’m glad it’s recieving this sort of attention, but I think it’ll need a bit more yet before it regains some charm.

  • Cool. It will pull in so much business the customers will be packed like sardines in a tin. ^^^

    They will look like they are, too.. Not sure if I like that or hate it, but it certainly is getting a reaction!