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Wanted: One new café for Deal pier

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An invited competition has been launched to design a new café for the end of the only pier built in Britain since the Second World War.

The RIBA Competitions Office has launched a call for expressions of interest in the competition from architect-led teams.

Deal pier is one of two surviving piers in Kent and is the only new pier to have been built in the UK since 1945. The owner of the pier, Dover District Council, has recently completed a project to safeguard its structural integrity.

Council staffers are now planning a series of further works to celebrate the pier's Golden Jubilee in 2007, which includes the new £480,000 café-bar facility on the upper deck of the pier's three tiers.

The current building is in poor condition and, while it provides views of the English Channel, it has its 'back turned' on the town centre and the seafront.

'The [winning project] will need to be of an appropriate design and scale to fulfil its function and represent the best of modern public architecture,' a RIBA spokesman said. 'Given the café-bar's exposed location, careful consideration will need to be given to the building materials selected and the construction rationale.'

The winning architect will develop the design to stage D in time for a planning application to be submitted in late June 2006.

The expression of interest deadline is 15 February 2006. For further information, visit www.ribacompetitions.com.

by Ed Dorrell

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