The enabling works support the development of a significant Sports & Leisure facility on a strategic seafront site in Brighton & Hove. There is the provision of 647 apartments and 3,600m² of food and beverage outlets. The form and layout of the project is generated from the understanding of the existing urban form and unique seaside location.
Whilst the proposed development is predicated on a design solution that opens up towards the sea, the exposed site calls for a sense of enclosure and protection from the elements. To achieve this the four “piers” are connected on the south side by lower linking blocks. This establishes three generous courtyards, sheltered from the winds at ground level but affording views of the sea and coastline above. The courtyards are the focus of the development; every apartment has a view into at least one of them. They are shared spaces providing access to homes, to meet neighbours and relax – they include play areas, soft landscape, places to grow food and ample provision for bicycles. The link blocks enclosing their south sides are low in height ensuring sunlight will penetrate the courtyards even in winter and at many times of the year they will become wind sheltered sun traps.
The Esplanade is lined with a parade of cafes and restaurants facing the beach that would create a new vibrant seafront destination in Hove.
The distinctive silhouette is formed from the layering of the four residential blocks. These are referred to as piers in a clear structure of English seaside piers. In the same way as piers are entered from the land and extend out towards the sea, these piers are approached from the main road and terminate in sweeping views of the English Channel.
Each pier has a sloping roof, three slope to the south and one to the north with varying heights to acknowledge the scale of the surrounding buildings and to create an exciting silhouette for distant views along the coast and to create a sculptural form with views from the South Downs.