Lined with original Victorian buildings, Brighton is home to perhaps the most iconic seafront in the UK.
In recent years, Brighton & Hove City Council has made significant investment into the restoration and regeneration of structures alongside the shoreline, recognising that the area is of outstanding architectural interest and must be preserved for future generations. The positive impact of this investment is no better evidenced than at Shelter Hall, a flagship restaurant and retail facility which sits on the main public street connecting the seafront and Brighton train station. The new structure has been designed as a larger version of the building which initially occupied the space.
For the architects leading the project, the regeneration work at Shelter Hall presented a series of challenges, both technically (the existing hall was found to have significant structural weaknesses) and from a design perspective. Working to such a complex brief, the architect turned to Ibstock’s expert design advisory team for guidance.
Irina Hughes, design technician at Ibstock, explains: “The specification process is a pivotal consideration in any project, but none more so than in a development located in the country’s best preserved Victorian seafronts. We understood that the products specified would need to be both durable enough to withstand a changeable costal climate, but, crucially, be respectful of the area’s wider brick vernacular.
“We soon recognised that blending traditional brickwork with modern precast solutions would be the best route to take. This would enable us to combine truly eye-catching brickwork with a lightweight, easy-to-install precast solution – helping the architect make significant time and labour savings on the job.
SHELTER HALL, BRIGHTON
“The finished result is truly remarkable. The use of bespoke specials and concrete lintels throughout the façade gives the property a look that is genuinely timeless; eye-catchingly unique but also complementary of the Victorian buildings that surround it.”