Margate Beach Houses Are Completed

The Beach Houses, designed by Guy Hollaway Architects, located to the west of Margate town centre on the listed former Royal Seabathing Hospital site, have recently been completed.

Located off Westbrook Road, the Margate Beach Houses sit between the promenade and the former listed Royal Seabathing Hospital site, which first opened in 1796. In it’s prominent location next to the sea the site initially benefitted sick children from east London with Margate's fresh sea air and healing properties of the sea's salt water. With this in mind it seemed appropriate to take advantage of the coastline's full exposure and draw a particular design taking inspiration from the existing beach huts found along the promenade. In creating a modern reinterpretation of the classic English 'beach hut' the starting point was to design high quality contemporary homes that embody a sense of fun in their practicality and to create spaces where great memories are made and passed down from generation to generation - as all good beach homes should be.

The Beach Houses fall within the curtilage of the listed Royal Seabathing Hospital site and are visible from the main development, comprising of the renovation and conversion, of the main former listed hospital building. The Beach Houses have been sympathetically designed to their surroundings and in order to create minimal impact on the existing Listed Building while maintaining the sea views from the hospital’s Alexandre and East Wing, and providing privacy from the promenade.

The Beach Houses have been designed specifically to address the site’s sensitive context. The orientation of the dwellings respects the location of the Royal Seabathing Hospital and the existing promenade. A ground level change of 3m and the use of gable roofs allow maximum views from the converted RSBH buildings behind out to sea, whilst large floor to ceiling glazed windows, that lead onto decked terraces, provide unobstructed views from the Beach Houses out towards the English Chanel. The terraces also provide discreet external space that connect to the promenade, whilst providing natural surveillance for security. The contemporary homes are set within a secure gated development with dedicated underground parking. Separate pedestrian access is also provided from these spaces to the houses.

The Beach Houses are constructed and detailed to the highest standard, using a simple, contemporary and functional material palette. Situated on the edge of the promenade the houses have been designed using materials that are low maintenance and durable, to sustain the changing climates between summer and winter and in order to weather naturally over time. The steep pitched roofs of these glass fronted homes are clad in an under rubber waterproof layer with larch on top, the timber protects the rubber from the sun and also allows for rain to flow through the timber gaps and onto the rubber inner protective layer which percolates onto beach stones on the lower roof. The repetitive form and rhythm of the buildings provides visual strength to the scheme.

Adorning the edge of the promenade and enjoying uninterrupted sea views over Margate’s iconic setting sun, made famous by artist JMW Turner, the two storey, two bed, 21st-Century homes offer spacious contemporary open living in the hottest property market in Britain outside of London - according to the Guardian. Up until recently the highest new-build sales rate was £275 per sqft and the Margate Beach Houses are achieving as much as £534 per sqft, nearly double, due to their unique location and architectural quality.

With the opening of the Turner Contemporary art gallery, and the restoration of the retro Dreamland Pleasure Park, also designed by GHA alongside Wayne Hemingway, the beach houses fit perfectly with the continuing cultural regeneration of this eclectic seaside town. The town's plentiful and quirky vintage shops, bistros, and bars are creating a popular and vibrant scene, bringing many young people and families to the area, and making Margate one of the UK's top coastal towns and investment locations.

Margate Beach Houses feature in Wallpaper* http://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/a-margate-housing-development-is-inspired-by-beach-huts#154012

Margate Beach Houses feature in Dezeen http://www.dezeen.com/2016/04/30/guy-hollaway-architects-beach-houses-huts-margate-seaside/

http://guyhollaway.co.uk/news/margate-beach-houses-construction/

http://guyhollaway.co.uk/news/royal-seabathing-hospital-completes/

Published on 30 March 2016

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