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birnbeck pier

Category : riba competition

Services Provided: RIBA works Stages 0 - 2 

Location : Birnbeck Pier, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset

RIBA COMPETITION - 

Weston Super-Mare is in Norther Somerset, about 20 miles South of Brizzle [that's Bristol to anyone outside the Southwest].  Birnbeck pier is to the north of the town centre which was once one of the great seaside destinations.  Designed by the great pier-builder Eugenius Birch, the Pier was completed in 1866 and at first only had a small pavilion and landing jetty.  Once they realised they were on to a winner, additions were soon made, including a fun-fair and landing stage for the steamers from the Welsh coast.  Birnbeck was the place to go, to be seen, and to have fun.

Today this poor neglected site is largely derelict, though the RNLI has a fully operational station on the island which has been there for over 125 years. That’s dedication for you.  The site was acquired by Urban Splash in September 2006, who later ran an RIBA competition to transform Birnbeck into a beautiful and awe-inspiring destination. 


The final proposal was for a 37 bed hotel with a small spa, indoor / outdoor pools and therapy rooms.  The proposed building was designed to be a self sustainable development, which used its own natural surroundings and resources for energy.  This energy could be harnessed to cool, heat or even ventilate the building.