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Duggan Morris' Bexhill-on-Sea windshelters lifted in

A pair of seafront shelters designed by Duggan Morris Architects have been craned in at Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex

A further two structures will be winched in as part of Rother District Council’s ongoing Next Wave Seafront Improvement Project which received £1 million of funding from CABE under its SeaChange Programme. 

Duggan Morris had originally come second in an RIBA-organised contest to design the series of windshelters and kiosks in the resort behind newcomers Michael Tite and Tom Ebdon (see AJ 03.12.09). However, the pair walked away from the shelters and kiosk job, blaming client Rother District Council for imposing ‘potentially punitive conditions’ on their appointment.

Previous story (AJ 16.09.10)

Take two: new plans for Bexhill-on-Sea windshelters revealed

Duggan Morris Architects has revealed its proposal for a series of new structures along the seafront of Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex

The practice originally came second to newcomers Michael Tite and Tom Ebdon following a RIBA contest last year. However, the pair walked away from the shelters and kiosk job, blaming client Rother District Council for imposing ‘potentially punitive conditions’ on their appointment (see below).

Duggan Morris has now ‘radically transformed’ its own competition submission following ‘significant local consultation’. The four proposed shelters are part of a larger £5million sea front regeneration scheme backed by the local authority and jointly funded with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), under its Sea Change programme.

Joe Morris of Duggan Morris Architects said: ‘Despite challenging times, [we] are pleased to confirm that the project is progressing to fabrication, and hope that the shelters do create a lasting legacy for local residents and visitors, both now and for future generations.’

Sarah Gaventa, Director of CABE Space, said: ‘The new shelters will continue Bexhill’s tradition of hosting innovative and exciting contemporary architecture. We are delighted that Sea Change funding is being used to improve the seafront and help connect the De La Warr Pavilion and the newly extended Bexhill Museum to the rest of the town.’

Previous story (AJ 18.02.10)

Council conditions force kiosk contest architects to quit

The winners of the Bexhill-on-Sea windshelter and kiosk competition have walked away from the prize project, blaming the client for imposing ‘potentially punitive conditions’ on their appointment.

Young London architects Michael Tite and Tom Ebdon said Rother District Council had ‘made it impossible for them to satisfy the appointment conditions’, which had been imposed following their victory in the high-profile RIBA competition last December (AJ 03.12.09).

Duggan Morris Architects, which narrowly missed out on winning the contest by five votes to four, has now been drafted in to the £220,000 scheme to design a series of new seafront structures for the East Sussex resort.

Tite and Ebdon, who still work for Walters and Cohen and Sarah Wigglesworth Architects respectively and saw off more than 140 entrants to land the CABE-backed job, said: ‘Having won the RIBA competition, we are very disappointed that we are unable to progress the winning design with [the council], due to prohibitive and potentially punitive conditions being added to the appointment documents.’

They added: ‘We were delighted that the original competition jury promoted the appointment of a new practice, but regret that the council, despite its best efforts, ultimately felt that they couldn’t proceed with the perceived risk of engaging with young architects.’

A Rother District Council spokesperson said: ‘The decision [to withdraw] was made because the architects did not feel they were in a position to satisfy the appointment conditions. While we were disappointed by this, we were grateful for their honesty and professionalism in notifying the council at an early stage

The scheme will be a flagship element of the Council’s Next Wave Seafront Improvement Project, a wider £5 million cultural regeneration programme that has received £1 million of funding from CABE under the SeaChange Programme. 

A spokesman for Duggan Morris said: ‘Duggan Morris Architects is pleased to have been selected to take this exciting project forward and remains positive and committed to delivering an innovative and original scheme as part of the future vision for Bexhill-on-Sea’.

Postscript

Sarah Gaventa, director of public space at CABE, said: ‘Rother District Council supported an RIBA run competition to select a design team and concept for the new pavilions - a process admirably chaired by architect Niall McLaughlin.  Duggan Morris’s strong and sophisticated approach reflects the ambition and desire for innovation of both Bexhill and the Sea Change programme. We are confident that this scheme will be an enduring and creative addition to Bexhill’s seafront, complementing the De La Warr Pavilion, and adding to the resort’s impressive architectural identity.’

Previous story (AJ 03.12.09)

Michael Tite and Tom Ebdon take Bexhill-on-Sea competition

Young London architects Michael Tite and Tom Ebdon have won the competition for the design of a new series of seafront structures for the seaside resort of Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex

Tite and Ebdon’s design, one of ten shortlisted from over 140 anonymous entries, was praised by the jury on both an aesthetic and functional level.

Chair of the jury panel Niall McLaughlin said : ‘The challenge here is to design shelters that keep out driving rain and gales on an exposed waterfront while creating a lively presence on the promenade.  The winning scheme allowed its form to emerge from the requirement for shelter, providing a beautiful scheme that is best captured with a lovely view from a sheltered seat out to the horizon.’

The new structures, with a total construction value of around £220,000, will comprise four seafront shelters and a kiosk, and will be a flagship element of the Council’s Next Wave Seafront Improvement Project, a wider £5 million cultural regeneration programme that has received £1 million of funding from CABE under the SeaChange Programme.   

Duggan Morris scheme (pictured below) came second, missing out on a 5-4 vote at the final hour.

The full shortlist, first revealed in AJ, was:

-  Michael Tite and Tom Ebdon
-  ROEWUarchitecture
-  John Pardey Architects
-  Don Orike Architects
-  Jameson & Kerr LLP
-  Superfusionlab
-  Rayner Davies Architects
-  Richardson Architecture
-  K2 Architects
-  Duggan Morris Architects

Readers' comments (1)

  • This whole competition seems to have been a run as a complete and utter farce. What is the obsession with pink trees on the seafront? Strange and totally inappropriate to the surroundings. This looks like a flawed design that has suffered a hatchet job from a QS.

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