[FIRST LOOK] Guy Hollaway Architects (GHA) has secured planning permission for this 62-home scheme on the beachfront in Hythe, Kent
The project for Ossory Investments, which was approved by Shepway District Council last week, also includes a fishmonger, restaurant, a new home for the Seabrook Sea Anglers Club and eight new shiplap boarded fisherman’s huts.
A former 1936 steel framed RNLI building will be retained as part of the overhaul of the 1.56 hectares former gas works site.
The practice, formerly CTM Architects, has proposed ‘a contemporary design that mixes vernacular building forms with more contemporary coastal materials such as render, cedar, boarding and glass’.
The homes will use a palette of materials including timber cladding, brickwork, render and powder coated aluminium frame windows with slate tile roofs for the houses and zinc cladding and zinc fascias to the flat roofs of the blocks of flats.
The architect’s view by Guy Hollaway, Principal Partner, Guy Hollaway Architects:
‘This site provides a unique opportunity to create buildings that sit on the pebbled beach. Our original concept was to create a strong contemporary coastal architecture appropriate to this sensitive location. This has involved working closely with the Environment Agency and project engineers and has been achieved through raising the ground level of the site. The detached houses were conceived as generously spaced ‘pavilion’ buildings allowing views of the sea between and beyond and respecting the scale of the retained former-RNLI buildings.
‘The site is surrounded by an eclectic mix of buildings, including industrial structures, terraced housing and a treatment plant which provided little in the way of discernible context or scale. As a consequence, the scheme seeks to create its own identity using strong architectural forms and a consistent architectural language. The terraced housing is inspired by the simple forms of vernacular beach huts commonly found along the Kent coastline; the white rendered facades of the new buildings complement the black timber cladding of the replacement fisherman’s huts.
‘A key aspect of the proposal is the creation of improved pedestrian access to the seafront, via a new timber boardwalk, which connects to a new hard landscaped public space. Our design aims to reinforce the sustainable food supply chain between the fishermen’s catch and local fishmongers with the addition of a new ‘destination’ seafood restaurant. The aspiration is that the strong connection between the restaurant and Griggs (a popular local fishmongers) will enhance the vitality of the commercial area and assist in the regeneration of this neglected piece of land, which was a former gas-works site.’