The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

click to see full size, Photo © Sarah J Duncan
Photo © Sarah J Duncan
Photo © Sarah J Duncan
Interior, Photo © Constantin Meyer, courtesy Jane Wood

100 Buildings 100 Years

2007: East Beach Café, Littlehampton

Condition: Good condition
Architect: Thomas Heatherwick
Location: Sea Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5NZ

In 2005, after buying a house in Littlehampton, I noticed that the small kiosk across the green had planning permission for a large and rather unattractive café. I decided to buy the kiosk and build something of architectural merit that would enhance the promenade.

I knew of the emerging talent of Thomas Heatherwick and readily agreed when we met by chance and he asked to design it. The studio responded beautifully to the brief, creating a form that fitted into the surrounding beach and framed views of the sea. My daughter Sophie and I opened a restaurant to reflect the quality of the building.

It has won a total of 27 awards for design (and the food!) and its huge success has shown that good architecture is also good business. I love the building now as I loved it when I saw it emerging from the foundations; there is nothing about its design or function that I would change.

by Jane Wood

Thomas Heatherwick Studio project page

Search 100 Buildings 100 Years

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