Atomikarchitecture Wins Seaside Pier Competition


We recently covered the shortlist for the BURA seaside network competition to design a seaside pier for the 21st century; we now present the winner, Atomikarchitecture. We noted previously why we love piers- Pleasure piers were built with amusement parks and restaurants, but the main purpose was to let people walk over water in the cool sea air. As we think about staying closer to home, (and cooling off) perhaps seaside piers will see a revival. Certainly if this one gets built it will attract a crowd.


In reaction to our previous post, Ruben made an interesting comment:

um. rising sea levels?

I am all in favour of the reinvigoration of local tourism, after all, I have decided not to fly. However, this design sure does not look resilient to changes in sea level.

James Hansen, NASA's chief climatologist, says we should be thinking about a 24 metre rise in sea level. He isn't saying it is happening, but he is saying that it is a very real possibility that we should plan for.

So, heads in the sand? Shall we waste more resources and emit more GHGs to build something that could be inundated in our lifetimes?


Notwithstanding that, we will let the architects speak:

The Atomik Pier has been judged the most realistic, sustainable and potentially successful design for a modern pier as part of BURA’s 21st Century Pier competition. The design incorporates a strong visual identity whilst offering flexible use of space and sympathetic connections within its environment.

Designed to be a focal point of coastal regeneration initiatives, the people’s palace offers a visitor destination point in addition to providing a centre for economic activities to enhance the local town and the community it is linked with.


The People’s Palace/The Atomik Pier results from a collaboration between Atomikarchitecture’s Mike Oades, together with the architect Christine Heil and environmental consultants XCO2.

The entry proposes a generic pier which can be adapted to suit any seaside town location, orientation and local needs. It makes full use of its environment, by the way it orients itself for the comfort of the visitor whilst maximising its own sustainability through the generation of heat; power: and passive heating and cooling.


This competition has generated ideas on how to make piers sustainable both environmentally and economically and how they could successfully contribute to the renewal and regeneration of Britain’s coastal towns during the 21st century.’


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