Friday, April 20, 2007

Beach Hut exhibition

Bathing Beauties, an international exhibition of more than 100 models designed by artists and architects which re-imagine the British beach hut for the first time in 300 years, will be held during Architecture Week later this year. From June 15 until September 2, the designs (including the Onda House pictured) will be on display at The Hub, National Centre for Craft & Design, Sleaford, Lincolnshire.

The Bathing Beauties exhibition evolved from the Bathing Beauties international competition which inspired 240 architects, artists and designers from 15 countries to compete for commissions to build their designs on the Lincolnshire coast. "The Beach Hut is one of the few building forms which has been seriously overlooked by contemporary architects the world over. They are perceived as a treasured feature of our coastal landscape, as quintessentially British as fish and chips and the knotted hanky, but in reality are usually little more than a painted shed," said Michael Trainor, Lead Artist & Project Curator.

The designs are often pretty futuristic and owe little to traditional ideas of seaside architecture. Look out for wind turbines, saunas, camera obscuras, viewing platforms and space-ace materials. Although I hope there are a few sandcastles too and indeed the exhibition features a full-scale beach hut, Oyster Pleasance, designed by a team including architect Will Alsop. Nine of the models on display are in the process of being commissioned for full-scale construction in Summer 2007 along a 10 mile stretch of coast between Mablethorpe and Chapel St. Leonards on the Linconshire coast, UK. These innovative new beach huts will be available for daily hire from East Lindsey District Council.

For more details go to the truly lovely Bathing Beauties web site here.

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