The New Beach House Cafe

DMW Chartered Architects were approached by our client to develop a design for a replacement cafe on Mudeford Sand Spit, overlooking Christchurch Harbour at Hengistbury Head in Dorset.

The proposed new café replaces a former building damaged in a fire and subsequently demolished in 2019.

The brief was to create a simple and elegant building design that wouldbe appropriate in terms of function, aesthetic and budget but above all, a building that would be appropriate for it’s unique setting.

Surrounded by numerous rows of brightly coloured beach huts and sandwiched between various special ecological, conservation and archaeologic designated areas, the heavily constrained site required a sensitive design approach. The design draws upon the geometry, scale, height and rhythm of the surrounding beach huts to present a recognisable form that harmonises with the character of the site and presents a building with a clear identity and sense of place.

The construction of the building will be resilient to flood risk set high over concrete posts. The walls and roof over will be of a highly insulated modular frame construction whilst solar panels to the roof will harness natural energy.

Fundamental to the proposal will be an extensive landscape scheme seeing new Marram Grass planting to the building perimeter to promote dune stabilisation, encourage new species and provide a soft buffer to the hard building edges.