The visitor centre was originally going to be mirrored, becoming invisible by reflecting the sky and sea – but during the build, unexpected storm damage meant that our budget had to be reallocated to repairs. Suddenly our mirrored pavilion was too expensive and we had to quickly come up with an alternative.
On site, we noticed tropical hardwood pieces in the charred remains rescued from the fire-damaged pier. Even at over 100 years old, these random lengths of high-quality, dense timber still had potential. The longer pieces were split to create slim profiles, cladding the toilets and outbuildings of the Old Pavilion. For the visitor centre, we designed a façade that deliberately used short lengths of wood, maximising the amount we could recycle. The result is a chevron cladding pattern that makes a virtue out of the unwanted to create an optical illusion and sense of movement.