The initial project brief was to provide a building that comprises a high standard refreshment facility with modern toilets which offers a positive welcome to the area as well as providing an information hub where everyone can learn about the area and any planned activities. An early decision was made to have a building which was thermally efficient. Robust in design to withstand the harsh conditions of the exposed site and corrosive sea air and to combat vandalism without looking unsightly.
The building offers a pleasant 40 seat café for visitors with enjoyable sea views, a changing places room, two accessible toilets, a baby changing room and a volunteer’s room. The modern design for the new site includes low-energy features and the latest technology for water management which gives the building a low carbon footprint.
It will also be used by local schools and community groups, while providing a place for volunteers to gather before and after working on the shoreline habitats.
Constructed with raft foundation and timber frame construction incorporating a glulam frame. The external elevations are clad with a combination of brickwork, timber cladding, stone walling and core-ten steel. The windows to the external elevations are aluminium framed double-glazed units which are protected by a combination of aluminium (roller) and timber (bifold/sliding) shutters. The main roof is of timber construction with the necessary sarking and includes an aluminium standing seam final finish with photo voltaic panels. The building is heated via underfloor system and air source heat pump, located externally within a bespoke traditional built housing, incorporating the project bin store. The external work comprises new paving and the creation of bunded areas, from materials arising from excavations
The biggest asset of the site is its elevated position above the beach and the seascape vista. The adjacent sand dunes were known to have private beach huts randomly positioned along the coast which were very popular in the 1950s. The beach hut concept was the starting point for the hub design, with simple timber frame construction model being implemented. The building design is aimed at ensuring thermal efficiency whilst being robust enough to withstand the harsh conditions of the exposed site and corrosive sea air. The building will benefit from electric heating, an air source heat pump, and Solar Photo Voltaic panels fitted to the roof.
Despite some of the challenges encountered along the way due to Covid-19 our highly skilled construction teams delivered an exception quality build for the wider public to enjoy for many years to come.