The Huts – Eastbourne is an exciting initiative from Eastbourne Borough Council that invited submissions to their competition to find iconic designs for bespoke beach huts to be sited at intervals along the front in Devonshire Ward.
Eastbourne’s Iconic Beach Competition has reached its climax as judges announced the following winners on 16 March 2016:
- Stephen Foley from Dublin based SFA for his illuminated ghost-like structure What Unearthed?
- Jacob Low from JaK Studio for his window on the world Spyglass
- George King from London and Melbourne based George King Architects for the stellar designs of Star Gazers’ Cabin and
- Ewen Miller and Kim Smith from the RIBA Award winning Calder Peel for the joyfully bright sun-filled Eastbourne Re-Bourne.
The winner in the community category is local artist Sheila Hay and students from Sussex Downs College with their beautifully crafted ceramics hut.
The five bespoke designed iconic huts will be sited at key locations in Devonshire ward, to the east of the pier, forming part of the route of the Coastal Culture Trail linking three award winning galleries: Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne, De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill and Jerwood Gallery in Hastings. The beach huts will be key landmarks along the seafront, harnessing the resurgence of interest in coastal communities, attracting new visitors to Eastbourne and becoming symbols of Eastbourne; matching high quality design, visual flair and function.
In addition to members of Eastbourne Borough Council, the judging panel included guest judges, architect Jane Montague and groundbreaking sculptor Alex Chinneck, referred to as “a master of architectural illusion” by The Guardian.
“We are really pleased to have been a part of this competition. The Eastbourne Borough Council have done a great job in structuring the competition so that it was accessible not only to established firms but also emerging practices such as ourselves. We want our beach hut to be a positive and exciting addition for the community and beyond, hopefully attracting new visitors to Eastbourne and prompting the public to think differently about what British seaside towns can offer”. George King Architects
“This concept of The Huts Eastbourne is a brilliantly charming and innovative way of marrying culture and community, delivering visually engaging multi-functional spaces for all to enjoy. These unique and eclectic structures are full of personality and will adorn the seafront with sculpturally interesting moments that contribute to Eastbourne’s individuality. British beach huts are full of charm and happy memories, and by giving the local community the opportunity to vote for their preferred designs, these contemporary reimaginations have the best possible chance of engaging all generations in an equally endearing, popular and memorable way.” Alex Chinneck, artist and honorary judge on the competition
“The judging process of the competitions has been exciting and a challenging due to the sheer quality of submissions. All of those on the list came up with fantastic designs but in the end the winners possessed a mixture of innovation, fine aesthetics and practical function that made them stand out. They are worthy winners and will have a hugely beneficial effect on the Devonshire Ward of Eastbourne. Look out for more news for the great unveiling of the finished buildings!” Christine Harmar-Brown, Project Manager
“We are delighted with the results of the competition. Each of the huts will be a valuable asset to the Devonshire Ward Community as well as offering an attraction to visitors to Eastbourne and a talking point for all who see them. The question on everyone’s lips throughout the competition has been “which is you favourite?” and we would expect the same question to be asked for years to come” Martin Jones, Eastbourne’s Housing and Economic Development Partnership (Eastbourne Borough Council and Eastbourne Homes)