Beach shelter wins international design award

The Stage by the Sea was unveiled last year
The Stage by the Sea was unveiled last year

LITTLEHAMPTON’S seafront shelter, the Stage by the Sea, has won a prestigious international award for excellence in structural engineering.

Designed by London-based architects Flanagan Lawrence and structural engineers Expedition, the shelter won the Award for Small Projects at The Structural Awards 2015, restricted to constructions costing under £2-million.

The curvaceous structure comprises two concrete spray shells which offer shelter for beach-goers and an acoustic space for performers.

Resembling the rolling sand dunes of neighbouring West Beach, it was commissioned following a competition organised by Arun District Council in 2012.

Judges were full of praise for the shelter’s ‘simplicity and skilled craftsmanship’.

They said: “(we) greatly admired the way in which value for money has been delivered to great effect through the structural engineers’ creative thinking and confidence in eschewing complex techniques.

“The wave-like form follows the acoustic function beautifully, and allowing gravity to pull the draped mesh of reinforcement into shape, then using a hand-applied render to freeze it in position, is masterful.”

Unveiled in 2014, the shelter joins Littlehampton’s growing collection of architectural gems, including Thomas Heatherwick’s East Beach Café, Asif Khan’s West Beach Café and the Longest Bench.

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