Brighton-based design studio a:b:i:r architects and designer Peter Lewis have just completed a series of four brightly-coloured beach huts in the Boscombe area of Bournemouth on the South England coastline. Designed specifically for ease of use by people with disabilities, the vibrant seaside huts make a joyful statement on the shoreline.
Inspired by the multi-coloured stripes of a traditional windbreak the huts are encased in bands of vivid colour. Seemingly simple in design up close, from afar the series of four units morphs into the form of a flying seagull, hence the title of the project: The Seagull and the Windbreak. The series is split into four individual volumes composed as two pairs, the walls between which can be retracted for flexibility of use.
Internally the individual units are furnished with high colour contrast surfaces and flooring to assist the visually impaired, with dual height kitchen units and a gas stove. Outside there is a communal area with a fresh water fountain, a charging point for mobility scooters, accessible toilets, parking, and a wooden beach trackway for easy access to the beach.
Local resident Linda Nelson commented: “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.”
The project was funded by a grant from the Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment (CABE) and designed in a collaboration between a:b:i:r architects and Peter Lewis.