Traditional British beach huts get a modern
makeover from Pedder & Scampton

| 7 comments
 

Stones and shells from the seashore fill the walls of these eight contemporary British beach huts that London office Pedder & Scampton designed for the seaside town of Southend (+ slideshow).

New beach huts at Southend on Sea by Pedder and Scampton Architects

Pedder & Scampton's design won a competition organised by Southend Council to develop "a new generation" of beach huts that offer a modern alternative to existing huts found along the local beaches.

New beach huts at Southend on Sea by Pedder and Scampton Architects

"We have always enjoyed beach huts ourselves, and this fantastic site and simple project gave us a great opportunity to think imaginatively about materials and form," architect Gill Scampton told Dezeen.

"We took the traditional elements of beach huts to be a strong rythmic repeating form, variation within an overall form, strong use of colour and individually customised spaces," she added. "We wanted to propose an update for a traditional building form that responds to the very particular character of the site."

New beach huts at Southend on Sea by Pedder and Scampton Architects

The colourful doors and shutters of the eight huts reference the typical painted wooden structures that have been a popular fixture at many seaside resorts since the nineteenth century.

"The strong colours and industrial scale of the numbers respond to the scale and character of the Thames Estuary, which call for something more robust than the usual pastel colours," Scampton explained.

New beach huts at Southend on Sea by Pedder and Scampton Architects

Traditionally, beach huts are situated above the high tide mark and used as a place to shelter from the sun or wind, change into swimming gear and store personal belongings.

Rather than the linear formation found on many beaches, Pedder & Scampton's huts are arranged along an existing concrete promenade at an angle to one another, creating individual private terraces in the spaces between each one.

New beach huts at Southend on Sea by Pedder and Scampton Architects

The huts are constructed from prefabricated components that allowed them to be assembled quickly on site during the winter months.

Timber frames support walls made from recycled timber pallets, with plywood used to clad the internal surfaces and translucent polycarbonate sheeting covering the exterior.

New beach huts at Southend on Sea by Pedder and Scampton Architects

The cavities between the two layers are filled with pebbles, gravel, glass chippings, shells and other recycled materials, which are arranged in layers to represent the tidal drift on the beach.

These materials provide thermal mass, as well as privacy and security, and can be seen through the translucent outer surfaces. They also provide additional strength and stability, which enabled the huts to withstand the strong winds of recent storms that damaged many of the traditional beach huts in the area.

New beach huts at Southend on Sea by Pedder and Scampton Architects

Gaps left between the level of the infilled material and the roof create clerestory windows that introduce natural light into the huts.

The angled arrangement of the structures creates spaces through which the sea can still be seen from a promenade that runs along the rear of the site.

New beach huts at Southend on Sea by Pedder and Scampton Architects

The sloping roofs create an irregular rhythm and are planted with sea-hardened sedum and other plants that can also be seen from the promenade.

New beach huts at Southend on Sea by Pedder and Scampton Architects

Local publication the Southend Standard has reported that more huts are planned for a location nearby after the initial eight sold for more than £27,000 each. The design was developed in collaboration with structural engineers StructureMode.

Photography is by Simon Kennedy.

Here's a project description from Pedder & Scampton:


New beach huts at Southend on Sea

Brits are set to enjoy a late spring heatwave according to the Met office, which is good news for those lucky enough to have bagged one of the eight new beach huts at Southend, designed by London practice Pedder & Scampton.

New beach huts at Southend on Sea by Pedder and Scampton Architects
Section

The British love affair with the beach hut has never been healthier. Bidding for the 7-year leases of the huts at East Beach was fierce given their location just an hour and a half's drive away from London and perfect for last minute weekend getaways.

Pedder & Scampton's competition-winning design responded to an ambitious brief from Southend Council calling for 'a new generation' of beach huts. It updates the traditional format with an eco-friendly design featuring green planted roofs, recycled materials and a distinctive slanted shape that gives each individual hut its own private terrace.

New beach huts at Southend on Sea by Pedder and Scampton Architects
Elevation one

Coloured doors and shutters create variety and a feel-good vibe within the bold repetitive structure. The walls of the huts – which are built on the existing raised concrete promenade with great views of the sea – are formed from recycled timber pallets bolted into timber frames and faced with tough translucent polycarbonate sheeting to the outside and plywood to the inner faces.

The wall cavities are then filled with layers of pebbles, gravel, glass chippings and shells, laid in drift layers visible through the plastic, giving the huts a beautifully tactile seaside aesthetic.

The simple, robust interiors allow for customisation, and can be painted or fitted out by tenants, looking to create a home-from-home to make a brew or read the papers in, whist still enjoying the tang of the salty air.

New beach huts at Southend on Sea by Pedder and Scampton Architects
Elevation two

The freeholds remain with Southend Borough Council who, through local agents Haart, are now actively seeking interest from prospective tenants for a potential Phase 2 of the development, which already has planning permission.

Pedder and Scampton beat more than 40 other entrants in the competition, which was launched in August 2012. The designs were developed with structural engineers StructureMode.

  • Ben

    This is not architecture.

    • iag

      Haters gonna hate…

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/architecture?s=t

      ‘the profession of designing buildings, open areas, communities, and other artificial constructions and environments’

      It’s not the Oxford English Dictionary, but it’ll do. It is architecture.

    • Paul O’ Brien
      • iag

        You disagree with the dictionary definition of architecture? Bold.

        The Cabanon is a completely different structure with a completely different purpose to these little beach huts – so I guess maybe you don’t understand architecture and its many different guises?

        • Paul O’ Brien

          No, my reply was to Ben as stated above.

          Thanks for implying that I don’t understand architecture and its many guises though. Some, I don’t, some I do. It is subjective after all. This was the basis for for initial post based on Ben’s ‘This is not architecture’ post; I believe that it is, he doesn’t.

          I simply stated that I have a different opinion to his and showed an example of a project that I love and has similar merits, especially in terms of how to express materials in a efficient and clever manner. Perhaps I could have added text with my reply but I didn’t have the time at the point.

          Cheers

          • iag

            Apologies – my bad. Too quick to type. Architectural ego gets my goat, and I misinterpreted your initial reply.

  • Z-dog

    Great design. Sedum roofs for sustainable drainage. Good exploration of polycarbonate (with ando-esque bolts!) and bright, bold colours for the seaside.

    I imagine these didn’t cost a whole lot. Time will tell what their endurance will be.