Hot huts

Away from the glamour of Ascot, Henley and Wimbledon, there’s a very different summer season at seaside resorts across the land. It includes ice cream, sandcastles and fish and chips, and, for a lucky few, a brightly coloured beach hut perched on a chine or sand dune with blustery views and a camping gas stove. If Bournemouth Borough Council is to be believed, the beach hut is now 100 years old (the council says it invented them in 1908), and to mark the occasion it has unveiled the designs for 58 new ones to be built on its Boscombe patch. The mid-century Overstrand building is being transformed by Hemingway Design, and when complete will include cafés, shops, an RNLI lifeguard station, showers, toilets and changing facilities, plus the individually designed beach huts that consultancy founder Wayne Hemingway says will be the ‘best in the world’. As well as sea views and basic amenities, they will be kitted out with tables, deckchairs and windbreaks, re-imagined Formica worksurfaces and decorative wall designs drawing on Hemingway’s archive of vintage seaside ephemera. ‘We did think of doing something totally modern,’ says Hemingway, who sold his fashion business Red or Dead in 1999 and has since worked largely on affordable and social design. Does he mean that the seaside is inherently nostalgic? ‘It just feels right to do it this way,’ he says.For more on the Overstrand development, see www.bournemouth.co.uk

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