The construction of this new Shelter Hall became a key part of Brighton and Hove City Council’s high-profile plans for the restoration and regeneration of the seafront. Designed by RH Partnership Architects, the new building is a fascinating combination of civil engineering, new build, conservation, restoration and re-interpretation. Aesthetically it embraces the architecture of the original building and the heritage of the city’s seafront whilst reflecting its modern direction.
The construction required multiple specialist skills, including the bricklaying talents of experienced masons who carefully crafted the building’s distinctive imperial double-English bond. The selection of Ibstock’s Cheddar Red bricks provided a bold aesthetic that complements the seafront’s Victorian vernacular whilst underlining the civil engineering nature of the project. The robust red tone of the bricks, which is further brought to life by 7mm lime mortar joints, conveys a sense of solidity and longevity.
The elevations are constructed from a combination of machine-made and handmade bricks of a precise uniform size. There are up to 42 specials with corner bricks and tapered bricks that all blend beautifully with attractive pre-cast stone masonry. There is also an abundance of unique detailing around the door frames and other openings, with lovely combinations of long stretcher bricks and header bricks.