Designers tackle the British beach hut

Making the most of these last few days of summer sun, Great Western Studios is celebrating a very British monument to the season – the beach hut.

Some of the miniature huts on display at Bathing Beauties

Source: Photo by Joel Chester Fildes.

Alien Drum Sensorium, by Alasdair Toozer, Gareth Hoskins Architects.

The London gallery will be showing a series of miniature bathing hut models in the Bathing Beauties show opening next week, with works from 240 designers, architects and artists from 15 countries.  

The Bathing Beauties project was initially born as a competition for designers to build their huts on the Lincolnshire coast.

Some of the miniature huts on display at Bathing Beauties
Some of the miniature huts on display at Bathing Beauties

Michael Trainor, Bathing Beauties lead artist and project curator, says, ‘The beach hut is one of the few building forms which has been seriously overlooked by contemporary architects the world over.

‘They are perceived as a treasured feature of our coastal landscape, as quintessentially British as fish and chips and the knotted hanky, but in reality are usually little more than a painted shed’

Well, in the hands of these designers, the painted sheds look rather splendid.

Some of the miniature huts on display at Bathing Beauties

Source: Photo by Joel Chester Fildes.

Le Fin Fin Fin by Dominic Sagar, Sagar Stevenson Architects.

The entries show a vast and imaginative response to the competition. Structures boast accoutrements such as wind turbines, saunas, viewing platforms and space-age materials; with many celebrating ‘the idea of happening upon something by chance when strolling along the beach’ according to the gallery.

Among the highlights are Thurgood Hobson Design’s Lazy Susan hut, designed to rotate to follow the sun; and Lionel T Dean of Future Factories’ The Wizard of Oz, which twists to reference the idea of being boarded up for the winter.

Jabba by i-am associates
Jabba by i-am associates

London’s i-am associates created ‘21st century cave’ Jabba, an organic-looking form made of laminated wood and glass; while Christian Uhl’s Cheese 42 does exactly as it says on the proverbial tin, taking the form of a massive block of cheese.

Jabba by i-am associates
Jabba by i-am associates

Trainor will also deliver a talk at the gallery on 18 September exploring the visual and social culture of the British seaside,  and how the beach hut came to be re-invented for the 21st century.

Bathing Beauties runs from 13 – 26 September at Great Western Studios, 65 Alfred Road, London, W2

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  • Tim Baber November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I have an early detailed beach hut website at http://www.msbnews.co.uk
    The other more lively one, mentioning Mablethorpe the 2 years I went has lost its perch with Apple not supporting iWeb, but google my name, Tim Baber, and beach hut, and Houzz.com as well?

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