Brighton Shelter Hall
Following a structural survey which highlighted weaknesses in the original build, Brighton and Hove City Council commenced a £19m plan to regenerate and restore Brighton seafront, to protect the famous coastal walkway's heritage and allow for increased social and commercial opportunities.
Vobster Architectural worked alongside Edburton Contractors Ltd to restore the cast stone details, such as the band course and sea wall, which provides shelter to the buildings along the seafront alongside the iconic Neptune heads which feature across the archways of the building, representing the seaside location.
Concept to Completion
During the design and planning process, discussions with Historic England and Brighton and Hove’s City Council Conservation Officer were undertaken to ensure a sympathetic construction, taking into consideration the local vernacular and neighbouring buildings. After working with the team at Vobster Architectural to discuss material options, wet cast stone was specified to contrast with the red facing bricks which were selected for the rest of the facade. Cast stone provided a solution to the need for a sympathetic material, whilst offering a straightforward installation due to its prefabrication, a key benefit in a location with limited space and time constraints.
The cast stone elements provide visual accents to the shelter’s sea front through string courses, window heads, decorative keystones and stairway and sea wall copings. The project required a detailed approach to ensure the bespoke cast stone elements all fit within the brickwork perfectly.
The Neptune heads were developed intricately, with silicone moulds taken of the original pieces and further processed with 3D imaging before the new mould was produced. The shapes of the brickwork behind the pieces were also taken so the replacement pieces fit seamlessly when re-installed. The heads now sit proudly above the new restaurant’s balcony, featuring beards with detailing made up of fish, giving a nod to the rich fishing history of Brighton.
The new cast stone sea wall was reinforced with metal, requiring holes to secure the cast stone copings safely. The holes were filled with concrete and designed to add to the final aesthetic. A ridge runs along the length of the wall to not only provide further visual interest, but to deter skating.
Brighton Shelter Hall is now a striking and thriving hub, offering food and retail outlets, alongside live music at the the popular sea front.
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