Deal Pier

Deal Pier

Niall McLaughlin Architects has designed a new cafe at the end of the pier, commissioned in an RIBA competition. It is a simple timberframed glazed pavilion which gives all-round views to the sea; the timber structure is a repetitive form which resembles the skeleton of a beached whale or the ribs of a ship.

Deal, once a beach-fronted seaport, developed as a resort with the decline of sail. A number of piers were built, the most recent of which is a concrete piled structure by Sir William Halcrow & Partners built in 1957. The end of the pier was designed with three levels for viewing, boating and fishing, although the lower level has never been viable. In good weather, the pier is a haven for walkers and a regional hotspot for sea anglers. In storms it is closed and breakers crash between the raised tiers. Beyond the pier, just out on the horizon, lie the Goodwin Sands. Niall McLaughlin Architects has designed a new cafe at the end of the pier, commissioned in an RIBA competition. It is a simple timberframed glazed pavilion which gives all-round views to the sea; the timber structure is a repetitive form which resembles the skeleton of a beached whale or the ribs of a ship. The café preserves an alfresco quality, a setting for a cup of tea at the end of the pier enclosed by a structure which deals with the challenges of an endlessly changeable maritime environment.

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