Níall McLaughlin Architects concluded that its Deal Café and Bar should preserve an al fresco quality, providing an ideal setting for a cup of tea or supper at the end of the pier while dealing with the challenge of an endlessly changeable maritime environment.
COMMISSIONER Dover District Council
OWNER Dover District Council
MORE INFO Royal Institute of British Architects
PHOTOGRAPHS Nigel Green
Charles Holland: “Deal boasts the last pier to be constructed in the UK and the only post-war example. The entrance with its bronze statue of a man in a coracle has a Festival of Britain lightness about it, but the pier structure itself is pure Brutalism, like a bridge from the M1 motorway stretching out to sea.
Niall McLaughlin’s supremely elegant café perched on the pier’s end manages to harmonize with this structure whilst also doing completely its own thing. Its expressed timber frame can be read in a number of ways: it is a little like the frame of an upturned boat or a fish’s skeleton or driftwood washed up on the beach. It has just the right amount of maritime references without being insistent and the timbers have aged to a silver colour that is close tonally to the concrete structure on which it sits. Inside it feels like being at sea.”