Turner Prize winner designs part of £900k beach cafe

The new cafe in Silecroft
The new cafe in Silecroft has been completed as part of a project to bring art to coastal areas [Cumberland Council]

A new cafe featuring work by a Turner Prize winner has opened as part of a project to bring art to coastal communities.

The £890,000 facility at Silecroft, Cumbria, was funded through money from the previous government and Sellafield, as part of a programme by Cumberland Council.

The cafe features bespoke shutters designed by Scottish artist and Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce

Kieran Gaffney, lead architect for the project, said: "The views of the sea are breath-taking, the artist designed shutters that are strikingly beautiful and I love that the building looks like it's always been there."

The shutters are formed from a repeated triangular motif, reminiscent of boat sails and are part of a series of creative work unveiled along the Cumbrian coast, Cumberland Council said.

Other projects include a sound installation at Whitehaven Harbour, artwork installed at Seascale Water Tower and improved cycle paths in Eskdale and St Bees.

Sustainable design

The concept behind the Silecroft cafe was to create a design that would maximise views of the sea and Black Combe Fell, while providing visitors with shelter from the wind.

It was also designed with sustainability in mind, the council said, with a highly-insulated timber frame to ensure energy efficiency, along with solar panels for power and heating.

The building includes toilets which are accessible externally, as well as changing facilities.

Cumberland Council is due to appoint an operator to manage the cafe soon, but in the meantime Ravenglass Handmade Ice Cream is using the site.

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