Boscombe Beach Huts by a:b:i:r Architects
and Peter Lewis

| 5 comments

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

UK studio a:b:i:r Architects and Peter Lewis of AEREA Design have redesigned the traditional English beach hut to be accessible for wheelchair users.

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

Four separate huts are contained inside a single building on the seafront in Bournemouth.

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

Brightly coloured stripes of yellow, green and blue are painted onto plywood fins that wrap the seaside cabins.

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

Ramps give access to the huts from the promenade, while a sloping pathway provides a route onto the beach.

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

A shared drinking water fountain is located between the two pairs of cabins, which are divided internally by removable partitions.

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

An electrical charging point for mobility scooters is provided nearby, as are accessible toilets.

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

Design consultant Peter Lewis collaborated with the architects on the competition-winning design.

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

Other British seaside projects from the Dezeen archive include a cafe that resembles a rock and a 324 metre-long seafront bench.

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

Photography is by Richard Rowland.

Here are some more details from the architects:


Brighton architects deliver UK’s first accessible beach huts

New accessible beach huts designed by a:b:i:r architects and Peter Lewis will be unveiled later this month in Boscombe (Bournemouth) as the UK’s first designed specifically for people with disabilities.

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

‘The Seagull and the Windbreak’, which draws upon traditional seaside imagery of a line drawn seagull and multi coloured stripes of the traditional windbreak, beat off worldwide competition from 173 international entries. Voted for by the public, disabled beach users and a panel of seven expert judges, the buildings combine ergonomics with contemporary design. Funded with a grant from the Commission for Architecture & Built Environment (CABE) the Boscombe beach huts are designed to promote inclusion, health and wellbeing.

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

Facilities include high colour contrast surfaces and flooring to assist the visually impaired, dual height kitchen units with a gas stove and a communal outside area with a fresh water fountain. An electric charging point for mobility scooters is also available as well as improved accessible toilets, parking and a wooden beach trackway to enable easy access onto the beach. The four huts, designed as two pairs with retractable partition walls for increased flexibility, each accommodate up to four wheelchair users.

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

a:b:i:r architects, who are developing a reputation for seaside architecture following the award winning £1million refurbishment of the Brighton ‘Birdcage’ Bandstand, assembled a team which included Eastbourne based contractor Push Studios to deliver the project. The huts were constructed under factory conditions and delivered to site for quick installation.

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

Overlooking Bournemouth’s award-winning sandy beaches demand is high for the Dorset seaside retreats; each one is already fully booked. Linda Nelson from Bournemouth was quick to rent a hut for the entire season. She said: “The new beach huts are brilliant. Having been involved in the development and consultation process it is great to be able to reap the benefits. I had trouble getting in and around the old beach huts and was constantly worried about falling over. These new huts take away all those old problems; they are a tremendous asset for the area and a fantastic facility for disabled people.”

Boscombe Beach Huts by a b i r Architects and Peter Lewis

The Bournemouth suburb’s visitor numbers have soared following £13.5 million regeneration works and in 2010 Boscombe Pier was crowned Pier of the Year by the National Piers Society. The regeneration scheme has since won a number of national awards for regeneration including the Local Government Chronicle regeneration project of the year award. Andrew Emery, Boscombe Sea Change Project Manager for Bournemouth Borough Council, says the resort’s vision is ambitious but simple: “Continuing with the theme of regeneration in the vibrant Boscombe area the new huts incorporate high quality design, visual flair and unique function. We believe that they will become iconic symbols of the continuing renaissance of the British seaside resort and will open up our award-winning seafront area to new visitors.”

Construction team Architect: a:b:i:r architects
Collaborator Designer: Peter Lewis
Structural Engineers: IE Structural Engineers
Design & Build Contractor: Push Studios
Materials: Steel framed structure, Trespa board & plywood infill, Plywood fins finished with high performance, marine grade paine, Single ply membrane roof

  • cameobabe

    Didn't I see something like this in an old Beatles movie? Each Beatle had their own door which opened into the same structure and the beds were set into the floor with a sliding floor/door to cover the bed during the day and supposedly provide privacy at night. Wondering now which movie I saw it in and who designed the one for the movie – I'd like to take another look for comparison.

    • Paul

      The movie was called "HELP!"

  • http://www.laperla-bar.com paulindr

    Excellent – utilitarian and attractive. But please let’s not confuse this with a beach hut redesign. The point about a beach hut is that it is ALL yours – no shared (“party”) walls. This building may have co-joined sections that each serve a similar purpose as a “beach hut” but it is stretching things to desribe it as a redesigned beach hut!!!

  • H Graham

    what did it actually cost?

  • P F Lewis

    In fact this design has nothing to do with ABIR architects but was designed by Peter Francis Lewis of AEREA Design, Who entered the Competition, produced the concept, the design and the construction drawings and engaged ABIR as consultants at a later stage. So I am a little confused as to the suggestion that it is a product of ABIR??????