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The aim was to have a modern attraction with an environmental profile, which can both attract visitors and create a sense of pride among the town's inhabitants.

The competition attracted entries from as many as 74 practices, of which five went further to the final session at which we were named winner with our proposal for an events thoroughfare which starts out as an extension to the town's high street and ends in a spectacular open-air theatre, restaurant and cultural centre out at sea. Following the competition win we teamed up with UK practice Sprunt to oversee the development of the design.

In our winning entry ‘Sculpted by Wind and Wave’ we proposed a meeting place for tourists and residents with restaurant, café, cultural centre with studios, exhibitions, film shows, live performances and events. Top of the bill is an open-air theatre accommodating an audience of 500 sitting in the lee of the wind under an open sky with the sea all around and the coastline as a backdrop. The new pier head can be seen as the starting signal for the transformation of the entire pier, from one oblong entertainment space to a living urban thoroughfare.

Southend Pier Project from Cecilie Hammer on Vimeo.

The whole project has been integrated into the scenery at the location. The structural elements have borrowed their shape from the waves of the sea, and the three elements have been arranged to give the best possible shelter and view.

The maritime environment is challenging for most traditional building materials. Our proposal rests on a far-reaching sustainability philosophy, with natural materials (timber, Cor-Ten steel and glass) that will withstand the tough climate, removing any need for maintenance. All buildings are being made energy-efficient with renewable energy, wind power, heating from the sea water – all to guarantee a carbon-neutral environment.

Related projects

"a remarkable
sculptural
object sitting
at the end
of the Grade II
listed pier"

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