#7 East Beach Cafe
West Sussex, UK
As bold a reinvention of the British seaside 'caff' as you're ever likely to see, the small south coastal town of Littlehampton is home to the East Beach Cafe, owned by Jane Wood and daughter Sophie Murray.
What do we love about it? The entire structure is symbiotic with its seaside surroundings, its exterior reflecting a piece of driftwood and other natural seaside silhouettes such as sand dunes, shells and rolling waves.
Local welders used ribbons of weathered raw steel to create this striking finish.
The beautiful interior features contoured walls and cleverly concealed roller shutters, covering the windows when the cafe is closed.
Putting such a modern building in a traditional and quintessentially English surrounding may seem controversial, but Heatherwick says the planning application was granted without a single letter of objection, a fact he partly attributes to the enthusiasm of the cafe's owners who commissioned him. It's clear the locals were enthusiastic to endorse contemporary and authentic designs.
(Photos: Andy Stagg)