Judges reveal winning Eastbourne beach hut designs

SFA's What Unearthed  is one of five winning designs SUS-161202-144228001
SFA's What Unearthed is one of five winning designs SUS-161202-144228001

An iconic beach hut designed by students from Sussex Downs College will be built on Eastbourne seafront later this year alongside winners of a major architecture competition.

The ceramic-inspired design, created by eight students from Sussex Downs College and artist Shelia Hay, will be one of five beach huts built in the town as part of the Driving Devonshire Forward project.

The ceramic beach hut designed by students of Sussex Downs College and artist Sheila Hay SUS-160321-092130001

The ceramic beach hut designed by students of Sussex Downs College and artist Sheila Hay SUS-160321-092130001

The huts will be built to the east of Eastbourne pier as part of the Coastal Culture Trail, which links the Towner Art Gallery to the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill and the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings.

The winners, which include the students’ hut as well as four designs by professional architects, were chosen by a panel of judges including the sculptor Alex Chinneck.

Mr Chinneck said, “This concept of The Huts Eastbourne is a brilliantly charming and innovative way of marrying culture and community, delivering visually engaging multi-functional spaces for all to enjoy.

“These unique and eclectic structures are full of personality and will adorn the seafront with sculpturally interesting moments that contribute to Eastbourne’s individuality.

“British beach huts are full of charm and happy memories, and by giving the local community the opportunity to vote for their preferred designs, these contemporary reimaginations have the best possible chance of engaging all generations in an equally endearing, popular and memorable way.”

More than 50 entries were submitted to the competition, with the final four chosen from a shortlist of eight designs.

The winners include Stephen Foley from Dublin based SFA for his illuminated ghost-like structure What Unearthed and Jacob Low from Jak Studio for his Spyglass design.

Ewen Miller and Kim Smith from Calder Peel for Eastbourne Rebourne and George King’s Star Gazers’ Cabin also made the final shortlist.

Project Manager, Christine Harmar Brown, said, “The judging process of the competitions has been exciting and challenging due to the sheer quality of submissions. All of those on the list came up with fantastic designs but in the end the winners possessed a mixture of innovation, fine aesthetics and practical function that made them stand out.

“They are worthy winners and will have a hugely beneficial effect on the Devonshire Ward of Eastbourne. Look out for more news for the great unveiling of the finished buildings.”

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Martin Jones from Eastbourne Homes, Eastbourne Borough Council’s head of tourism Annie Wills, Cllr Margaret Bannister as well as architect Jane Montague and the sculptor Alex Chinneck.