Beach Hut

We took part in competition titled “Bathing Beauties” to come up with a beach hut prototype. Although not the winning scheme, our scale 1:15 model, named “12/12” to reflect its all-year-round usage, was retained by the organisers to be part of a touring exhibition.

Inhabiting the British beach hut is generally thought of as a summertime pursuit. Having visited beaches out of season we identified a folorn scene where brightly painted huts are faded or boarded up. Another pursuit that the British have not yet developed as far as our Continental or Arab neighbours is the art of the sauna. We have put these two thoughts together to produce a model which can be used 12 months out of 12. This could double the revenue and the enjoyment of the beach.

The two storey structure produces a cantilever which gives a recessed entrance for wintertime access and an elevated viewing space for the sauna area. Climb up a ship’s ladder to the upper floor for an uninterrupted view of the horizon out to sea from the full width window. Photovoltaic cells on the roof power a battery for lighting and for the sauna heater. Those working up a sweat can dash to the sea to cool down.

The cantilever gives covered seating area for shelter from the summer sun. Rainwater is collected and stored in a butt on the upper level to give some head for an external shower. The front wall and stable door at the ground floor open fully to draw air in during the hotter months. The window on the upper floor will slide and fold fully open for ventilation.

The timber-framed structure is clad externally with British oak shingle and internally with a recycled plastic sheet moulded from yoghurt pots in a shade of duck egg blue. We have scaled the periscope-like form of the beach hut to develop the cladding module. The natural patina of the oak will weather like driftwood, and we have aligned the shingles both horizontally and vertically to encourage a play of light in all seasons.

Design Team:
Gordon Duffy
Rebecca Wober
Przemyslaw Konopka