With the end of the summer holidays on the horizon, we’re thinking about the seaside and all that the beach life has to offer. The sea is the world’s largest public space and belongs to everyone and no-one simultaneously. As our coastlines and oceans become increasingly prevalent in news headlines due to environmental and political issues such as Brexit, global warming and plastic pollution. In the blog this week we take a look at the design and architecture on our shores.

With the pound plummeting as a result of Brexit uncertainty, it looks like British holiday makers are returning to the classic seaside break as an alternative to going abroad. From holiday homes to beach-side permanent residencies, commercial and recreational functions – the diversity in these creations are mirrored by equally diverse landscapes.

Touristic areas on the coast have to be carefully designed to order to cater to large amounts of visitors flocking the areas on a seasonal basis. These seaside towns are often small and fragile environments that need to be flexible enough to deal with a population that rapidly increases and diminishes dependant on the weather and the time of year.

The traditional seaside resort is a one-of-a-kind in respect to the ability to embrace being slightly out of date or shabby in a kitsch and vintage kind of way. Many of these places are snapshots of the past, of a time when the Great British seaside was the place to go rather than a back up plan.

Through the eyes of an architect, there are certain requirements that apply to projects in coastal locations; successful waterside resorts, hotel complexes, seafront restaurants and beach pavilions should all boast the water as the epicentre of their builds.

Not only an view of epic proportions, being close to the sea has benefits that reach far beyond aesthetics. ‘Blue space’ has been proven to enhance the quality of life of those who have frequent access to it. Exposure to natural environments such as large expanses of blue sky and water, improves mental health and also seems to have a positive impact on some physical aspects too. With this in mind, designers carefully consider the positioning of their projects and thus, access to these sea views whilst utilising these spaces.

Something about being near the ocean reminds us of how small we are and as any sailor or fisherman would quote, at mercy of the sea and where urbanisation meets the waves, architects have to be respectful of the sea’s power.  Some designers have taken this even further by using natural materials that weather and corrode along with the rest of the shoreline. Resilience and practicality become the designers priority as the coast presents architectural challenges like no other.

With rumours of a heatwave on its way for the bank holiday weekend, we’re celebrating the traditional ‘bucket and spade’ holiday! Sail away into our seaside architecture gallery;