Responding to a competition brief seeking a landmark structure that would provide a focal point for the Ardrossan seafront, recently established West Kilbride based practice Cooper Architects have unveiled their winning design.
The new beach pavilion, which is set to replace a public convenience on the waterfront, will be contemporary yet sensitive, serious yet fun, abstract yet specific, according to Cooper Architects Director, Cathy Cooper. It needs to work in allweathers, to provide shelter from the rain, both inside and out, protection from the wind and even, occasionally, the sun. But the building does not try to be something it isn’t, rather it embraces the potential of what it can be, a bold, intrinsically dynamic form which will be an undeniable visual punctuation mark in the majestic sweep of the bay. And a nice place to have a cup of tea.
In design terms the simple, robust and contemporary form subtly echoes the hills of Arran beyond. Its sloping form also directly reflects the sloping volume within, and is designed to minimise the impact of the building to the north, but maximise its presence to the south to the adjacent promenade, and to the beach and sea beyond. The pavilion will, at this point, be fully glazed to connect with the view to the sea from within, whilst also providing a welcoming and inviting face to passers-by. A protective zinc hood wraps around the west and east facades, and around the sloping roof.
We want our building to be as sustainable as possible and so have naturally ventilated the cafe space and used air source heat pumps to supply the under floor heating. The main external material is 100% recyclable zinc and the building is insulated, and sealed, efficiently with SIPS (structural insulated panels). The yorkstone paving, setts, and bound beach pebbles will be from reclaimed sources.
Our design seeks to build on the existing and already powerful sense of place by adopting an architecture which learns from history without repeating it.