Beach Hut Design

Graded Unit for College

I was delegated the task of redesigning a beach hut on Bournemouth Beach which had recently been purchased by a professional couple. It would generally be used during the day at weekends and during holidays but the couple would also like to come out in the evenings to enjoy the sunset as well as having the option of using the beach hut during winter months as well. The beach hut measures 2.4 metres by 3.6 metres with a height of 2 metres and had to meet the following requirements;

  • Dining accommodation for up to 4 people
  • Small kitchenette including fridge and hob
  • Storage
  • Comfortable seating for 2
  • Fold down/pull out bed
  • Water containment
  • Solar panel for power
  • Durable materials
  • Ease of function
  • Suitable lighting

I had to produce a design solution that incorporated all these requirements as well as considering heating/insulation for use during winter months and modular furniture for different uses in a compact space. I began my research by not only looking at beach huts but also other compact living spaces including caravans, canal boats, yachts and micro cottages. As well as this I looked at compact/foldaway furniture designs, storage solutions and facilities for living ‘off the grid’.

After my research stage I moved on to the development stage. I looked at the dimensions and started coming up with different examples of how I could make good use of the space. I also considered what the exterior of my beach hut would look like as well.

I came up with some design concepts with different themes and layouts that incorporated all the elements of my design brief. I also made some maquettes to experiment with how different modular furniture would work in the compact space.

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For my final design I decided to do a moveable unit on runners which could be moved into place and furniture folding down off of it depending on what function was required at the time. There was a small kitchen area to the back of the beach hut as well as a wood burner. When the unit was moved to the front, the dining set folded out of the back into the kitchen area, the settee could be used when the unit was in the middle and the bed folded down from the settee when the unit was moved back into the kitchen area.

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The unit measured 1300mm by 1060mm by 1750mm and moved up and down the Eastern wall of the hut. I also incorporated my fold down decking wall idea into the design so the Western side folded out, I thought this best as it would allow a great view of the sunset. To the front or South side of the hut I had sliding glass doors to allow access to the beach hut, plenty of light and a good view of the sea from the comfortable seating area. The beach hut was decorated with a pale, reflective seashell colour on the interior walls to make the small area seem more spacious, and for the rest of decor turquoises and sandy colours to bring the outside beach scenery into the interior of my hut.

My design met all the requirements of the brief and more. My kitchen had a small hob and sink, preparation area, a cupboard above the sink for water containment, storage area for solar power convertor and also had the bonus of an integrated fridge and pull out larder for plenty of storage. There was also a wood burner and insulation to provide heat for use in winter months. The fold down dining area from the back of the moveable unit providing a picnic bench style dining area for 4 people as well as extra storage on this side for crockery and glasses etc. To the side of the unit there was plenty of deep storage, I thought this could be a good place to keep fold up sun loungers, extra fold up table and chairs and even a barbeque for use on the decking area. To the front of the moveable unit was a bed settee, a cream leather sofa that could comfortably seat 2 people and also pulled out into a bed when the unit was moved back against the kitchen area. Blinds at the sliding glass door could provide privacy for changing and when the bed area was being used. There was also overhead storage in this part of the unit for bedding etc. Also on top on the unit to fully utilise the space I included a small resting area or ‘book nook’ with ladder access. This would also provide a resting area if the couch or kitchen area was in use too. The beach hut also benefited from having a wooden floor & decking area and vinyl covered furniture which is durable and easy to clean. I included solar panels on either side of the roof to maximise full potential of gaining sunlight and there would be under kitchen unit and roof fitted LED lighting.

Here are the photos of my final design which I drew up on Google SketchUp

For my scale model, I printed off the flooring and stone effect vinyl to better represent the materials and I also added foam board to show the thickness of the walls and shelf recesses as well as making my design more sturdy. I used turquoise felt to represent the textiles of the bed linen and blinds and cream foam to represent the leather of the sofa and book nook. I think overall the presentation worked well although I was hurried putting it together with a hot glue gun so it is not as neat as I would have preferred.

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