Disappointed at the prospect of another dull seaside pavilion, an imaginative and charismatic local resident acquired the site, then appointed Heatherwick Studio to create a café building that would be unique and distinctive, but would also be practical and resilient, as the location is starkly exposed to the elements.
The design achieves all of these objectives with simplicity, coherence and, suitably for the seaside setting, an engaging maritime narrative.
The café is a great hollow hulk of welded steel, an empty shell, a piece of enigmatic flotsam. Like so many other curious relics to be found along the south coast, it is both strange and captivating: weird, but lovable. It is also a hugely successful business.