Beach hut installation on Eastbourne seafront puts modern twist on “design classic”

Architectural practice JaK Studio has created the installation, which is part of a local competition aiming to bring more tourism to the coastal area.

© Nick Kane

A beach hut structure inspired by a pair of viewing binoculars has been installed on Eastbourne Pier, as part of a local initiative to reinvigorate the coastal town in South-East England and increase visitor numbers.

London-based architectural practice and consultancy JaK Studio has designed the structure, called Spy Glass, as part of an international design competition celebrating the classic beach hut.

The Huts initiative was launched by Eastbourne Borough Council in 2015, and asked designers and architectural practices to submit designs for bespoke beach huts to be installed along the beachfront in the Devonshire Ward area of Eastbourne.

JaK Studio’s Spy Glass structure is one of five winning designs chosen by a judging panel comprising members of Eastbourne Borough Council, along with sculptor Alex Chinneck.

JaK Studio founding partner Jacob Low, says: “We wanted to pay homage to the traditional beach hut while creating a modern concept for a design classic.”

© Francesco Russo

The architectural practice received £10,000 prize money for its beach hut design, which features a transparent “picture window” and can be rotated 180 degrees as a nod to the traditional slot binoculars often seen in UK seaside towns.

“As you can move these binoculars users can also move our Spy Glass to interact with the sun or coastline,” says Low. “It will hopefully bring a bit of nostalgia to local residents and those visiting on days out.”

The structure is made out of stainless steel and marine plywood, and features two port hole windows, a daybed and a shower, allowing it to be used as a private beach hut.

Spy Glass is the second winning design to become a reality; Dublin-based SFA’s illuminated structure What Unearthed? was installed in July 2017.

Three other winning designs that are yet to be built include one by George King Architects, another from Calder Peel and the winner of the community category, which has been designed by local artist Sheila Hay and students from Sussex Downs College.

Spy Glass is now available to visit and rent as event space.

© Nick Kane
© Nick Kane
© Nick Kane
© Francesco Russo
© Francesco Russo
What Unearthed? by SFA
Stargazers Cabin, by George King Architects
Eastbourne Re-Bourne, by Calder Peel
Community category winner, by Sheila Hay and students from Sussex Downs College. Photo: Avant Photographic
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  • wobbly January 16, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    We locals differ in our assessment of the beach huts , the one you featured is known locally as “peppa pig” and its neighbour as “packing detail”; equally reviled as blots on the seafront

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