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A SEASONAL SOLACE An investigation into the site and features, research surrounding Morecambe Bay and its traditions and history, and studies into relevant precedents.



CONTENTS PAGE S I T E I N V E S T I G A T I O N D E TA I L S . 8 The Physical Site

Environmental Considerations Community Engagement

Technical Details: Integrated Design BUILDING PROGRAMME .26 HISTORICAL RESEARCH .30 Seaside Resorts The Birds

Existing Natural Sciences and Phenomena MEDICAL RESEARCH .48 Seasonal Affected Disorder

Marine Fishing Techniques Walking

P R E C E D E N TS . 5 2

The Midland Hotel, Morecambe

The Blur Building, Diller + Scofidio

Turner Contemporary Gallery, David Chipperfield, Margate Pleasure Beach, Connecticut

The Witchcraft Memorial, Peter Zumthor Thames Estuary Red Sands Fort





This document aims to provide information on investigations on and around the chosen site in Morecambe. This will cover current information regarding the site details, local environment and surrounding features points of interest. It will also give more detailed research into the traditions and history unique to Morecambe which have informed the design concepts covered in the first book and will continue to inform the design process and final building. The second book also contains some examples of precedents of building of construction projects which are relevant to the concept, ethos or design of this project.






Historically the town of Morecambe Bay formed from expansion of three hamlets; Bare, Torrisholme and Poulton following the construction of a railway through Poulton. The extension to the railway, along the jetty, heightened the town’s status as a seaside holiday destination.

During out visit to Morecambe many people were observed strolling along the promenade and up to the end of the Stone Jetty however upon reaching the end they would turn around and continue back. Journeying to the end of the pier is currently not a particularly enjoyable experience due to the dismal structure of concrete and blue metal railings, however the views are breath taking and the vast surrounding sea is awe inspiring. For these reasons the treatment centre will be constructed here. The surrounding waters both enhance the sunsets and lighting at the site whilst allowing the design to incorporate water and the soothing effects it can have on structures. The site both allows the building to sit on water and land, enhancing a currently dismal part of the bay in terms of architecture. 9



The stone jetty was constructed in the 1800 as part of a harbour at this site. The jetty was then expanded into a rail link for the town of Morecambe. Another wooden pier structure, which made up the other wall of the harbour, also had traintracks along it, was destroyed.

The jetty is built of fitted snad stone block walls up to a height of roughly 10m above the sand at the far end. Chambers wwere incorporated into the design to allow for unloading of imports from boats, throughout the tidal range, from the body of the pier.

The pier itself acts as a coastal defence for Morecambe against the variable tides and storm surges. The south west side of the jetty is further protected by rock armour which extends to the tip of the jetty. The railway company also constructed a station with connecting lighthouse which sat at the head of the jetty, made from similar construction.

Since the railway has been closed the tracks and sea damaged surface of the jetty has been overlaid with coloured concrete depicting games, facts and titbits of Morecambe’s history. The station was used then used as a fish store.



The project aims to encompass the existing ‘Stone Jetty Café’ a listed building, originally constructed as part of the railway extension in 1861 which has since been converted into a small, self-service, fast food café. The café will be extended into a kitchen and restaurant as part of the treatment centre but also open to the public.

The materiality, construction and form of the café must be maintained since it is a listed building and therefore must be used to inform the design of the surrounding buildings. In particular the shape of the main building and relationship to the lighthouse must be considered, and the numerous windows along opposite facades, allowing visibility through the entire building, should follow through to the design.

The Stone Jetty café is built from rock faced coursed square sandstone with a slate roof which has an overhanging canopy along the north east side. The lighthouse is an octagon shape in same materials, based on a square slab. The lantern atop is white painted ogee with a moulded capital forming a walkway connection to the roof of the café with an iron handrail. The windows are wooden framed surrounded by stone detailing.




The building should aim to maximise energy consumption utilising environmentally friendly means therefore potentially considering:

Natural day lighting and heating Rainwater collection Grey water schemes Natural ventilation Solar tidal and wind power Vegetation shading

In particular it will be important to look at utilising solar power, natural day lighting and shading devices cleverly to exploit the natural resources and assets, whilst using the movement of the sun to inform the programme of the building.

The scheme should also aim to use environmentally considerate materials such as those naturally occurring and available to source from nearby to Morecambe, especially considering the invasion of habitats this building will involve. The construction should use local and nearby construction companies and workmen. Due to the presence of a natural biodiversity area near to the site means that all construction methods must be made as efficient as possible and damages to the surrounding should be minimised. To compensate for any wildlife lost or relocated efforts should be made to ensure the continued upkeep of the reserve and to enhance the biodiversity of the area.

Construction work will also require builders, technicians and overseers which will be sourced from nearby to reduce travel costs, negative environmental implications and improve the local economy.



Although the main programme of the building is a treatment centre for people suffering from S.A.D., throughout the winter months, the building must also give something to the local community and enhance their experience of the site.

The restaurant, which is key as part of the treatment process, increasing vitamin D consumption, will also be accessible for local people and visitors throughout the entire year. At present there is a small café at the end of the stone jetty which offers a selection of hot and cold drinks and snack foods. Although this café has a steady trade it is not particularly sensitive to the site, providing little shelter for people during the colder months inside the building and limited outdoor seating for the few days when it is warm enough in summer. The renovation of the new restaurant will provide a totally new eating experience for the diners, which is centred on the famous sunsets of Morecambe. By creating a shelter for guests which captures the views across the bay whilst protecting them from the strong winds, cold air and sea spray, visitors can enjoy eating there at any time of year. The remainder of the building will be publically accessible for the most part during the summer months to enable bird watching however the residential part to the east will remain closed to only the birds of Morecambe.

By constructing the ‘Pier of Refracted Interactions’ in place of the existing remainder of the pier a more exciting and experiential walk is offered to visitors or locals as they take a jaunt along the pier or visit the restaurant.

The restaurant will also require a constant supply of fish which cannot rely on the catch of the patients alone therefore will provide a customer for the struggling fishermen in Morecambe. The restaurant will also use local produce, and aim to supply as much of their ingredients from local independent suppliers as possible.

The kitchen and restaurant will also require a staff of chefs, waitresses, caretakers, cleaners and administration staff therefore providing a variety of new jobs for local people. Cleaners will also be required for the residential part of the building for 6 months of the year. It is also hoped that during the summer months tours will be available for visitors through the salt water distillation process rooms and the events like specific bird watching tours or occasions can be held in the top therapy room. The restaurant will also be available, throughout the day, as a space for large groups and the residential area will close up into small bird hides.



T E C H N I C A L D E T A I L S : I N TE G R A T E D D E S I G N



The sun movement, orientation, timing and height are especially important in this project as they dictate not only the positioning of individual rooms but the programme, orientation, and movement through the whole building during winter. The difference in sun movement and positioning between winter and summer must also be considered for the parts of the building which have the same function throughout the year. Here issues will arise when considering glare and excess heat gains, particularly in summer. Location: Lancashire, 55.3ᵒ Latitude, 0.0ᵒ Longitude

The environmental information obtained for Morecambe Bay is modelled on Lancashire County, UK on EcoTect. The sun path diagram shows the orientation of sunrise and sunset throughout the year and in this particular sun rose the sun lies at 12:00 on September 21st, which is very similar to March 21st, marking the start and end dates of Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment. Annual sun paths highlighting the ‘winter’ months:

Annual sun paths highlighting the ‘summer’ months:


The view of the sun movement from the site, looking back towards Morecambe was then modelled in three dimensions for both seasons. It will be important to consider any shading or blocking of the sun by any buildings along the promenade, especially when looking at the low lying dawn light in winter months which is important to inform the residential structures. This will not be an issue as sunset always occurs over the bay therefore there will be no blocking of the sun however in the hour before sunset around to December 1st the sun will begin to set behind the Battery Building, south west of the Stone Jetty. Winter: September 21st – March 21st

Summer: March 21st – September 21st



Information regarding sunshine hours and temperature are important for this project when considering the building environment in both winter and summer, and the impact of glare and external temperature. It appears that temperature only varies, on average between about 3-5 degrees in winter and 7-15 in summer months.



Mar Apr

Min áľ’

2.4 2.3 3.7

Max áľ’

6.9 7.2 9.1

Sunshine Hrs.

49.3 78.1 112











May Jul

Sept Oct

Nov Dec



13.4 10.8

15.5 19.5 17









159 207

188.9 139.7 102.4

60.7 42.8


This difference will primarily prove an challenge when designing the public restaurant as glare and solar gains will be much higher than in winter. The treatment space for patients will have heat gains from the distillation process and steam, however incorporating the heating system for the salt distillation into the structure will ensure a comfortable environment. The data for sunshine hours echoes the issue of S.A.D. in winter due to decrease in sunlight hours. By ensuring the views and rientation of the building to exhaust all potential light throughout the entire day means that patients contact with natural light maximised.



As the site at the stone jetty is quite vulnerable as it is positioned out to sea, exposed to the elements, it is important to examine the wind data for the Morecambe area. Wind data has been collected from two sources: a buoy out towards the mouth of the bay and within Morecambe town.

They both show that wind is predominantly coming from the south west through to south and west. Care must be taken in the design to ensure that visitors have adequate protection from the wind whilst dining making it probably impossible to have outdoor dining on the SW side of the Stone Jetty.



This geological map shows that the site is primarily tidal flats deposits with some pockets of storm beach deposits and till. The stone jetty is situated on made ground which extends to the midland hotel site and as far as the coastal road. The made ground should provide adequate foundations for the building since the majority of it will be one storey therefore relatively low loading. However any extension of the building out in the bay will have to recognise the unpredictable nature of the ground made from deposits.







This project focuses on the natural assets of Morecambe Bay which initiated the boom of Morecambe as a seaside resort.

However Morecambe in now in its ‘winter’ and its once sustainable fishing industry has declined and fishermen are now forced to seek work in offices. This uprootal from the expansive waters of the bay inside can initiate Seasonal Affective Disorder. The project aims to create a treatment centre for these fishermen which uses holistic alternatives to traditional treatments through Morecambe Bays natural assets, in particular the light, sunsets and waters of the bay, throughout the winter.

During the summer months the centre will fold away to a hibernative state, creating a rest bite for birds, previously driven out by tourism.

The patient’s journey of recovery through the building follows the movement of the sun as they partake in the light therapy, ionization, group therapy and outdoor fishing. This process ends with an evening meal high in vitamin D in the fish restaurant watching the setting of the sun. This restaurant will also be open to the public, inhabiting and enhancing the disappointing end of the Stone Jetty and the café. During the summer months the residential part of the treatment centre will be publically accessible to facilitate bird watching.

SPATIAL LAYOUT OF BUILDING The previous diagram depicts the general layout and positioning of the building on site. The residential and fishing areas are seasonally changing private areas whereas the restaurant/café area is public all year round.

This chart describes the room requirements and details of the building; the grey is the seasonally changing part and the black describes the publically accessible rooms which remain throughout the year.






S E A S I D E R E S O R TS : A V I C T O R I A N T R A D I T I O N

The apparent demise of the Victorian tradition of holidaying along the British coasts has been largely exaggerated. 35 million people a year still travel domestically to the coast to take advantage of the natural assets of the seaside with a sense of nostalgia for the hundred year old tradition. In the Victorian era the industrial revolution and evolvement of the railway meant that British people could travel further afield from the industrial urban cities to the coast. Romanticism played a large part in encouraging the coast as a holiday destination but also the more practical health benefits of escaping the cities. Originally the areas in particular which saw a huge revolution as seaside resorts had many unique natural assets to offer holiday makers and regions such as Morecambe, Blackpool and Margate saw massive expansion at the turn of the century. These seaside resorts also attracted health conscious holidaymakers to come experience their balmy salt waters and fresh air. They were considered cleaner than urban districts as the salt in the water absorbed and purified the waste in the air, providing medication for the lungs after being subjected to polluted city air for the rest of the year.

Poulton-le-sands grew as a coastal village and watering place for people in Lancashire and further afield. Bathers would take to the waters for their medicinal effects, many believing the least pleasurable conditions of winter and early mornings to be the most effective for treating ailments. The area of Heysham also attracted many visitors with its ‘ever changing mixture of the sea, hills, light and cloud offered by the bay’. And the view from Morecambe was considered an artistic sculpture carried by the forces of nature.



‘It will be necessary to alter the map of England, and represent it as a huge creature of the porcupine type, with gigantic piers instead of quills’ Caselles Magazine, 1890 Traditionally pleasure piers were considered the pinnacles of a seaside resort, hosting processions throughout the summer and being the natural focal point for any coastal town. Often packed with holidaymakers and entertainment features many would conclude with a pavilion in which performances and festivities would be held throughout the summer months. Amongst the traditional fairground entertainment the pier would be scattered with alcove and shelters providing seating, light, protective screens and observation points for the tourist.

One of the benefits of such piers was the visitor’s ability to experience the motion of the waters and the exhilaration of being out at sea without entering the water or travelling by boat. Many visitors, coming from more urbanised cities would find the experience of being on the sea scary and uncomfortable so the piers provider a safer option without sea sickness.

Along with the expansion of coastal towns as seaside resorts the coastline soon became scattered with piers, marking the existence of a coastal resort. Their presence fulfilling the role as pleasure piers and enhancing the euphoria and amusement factor of British summer holidays. Their continued existence and conservation along the British coast line indicates their undeniable place in British history and seaside tradition, and in the hearts of the people of Britain.



As part of the tradition of seaside resorts, the 1900s saw the creation of many guesthouses in Morecambe; nearly every building along the promenade was a guesthouse at Morecambe’s peak mid-century. However since the decline of UK holidays as it became just as cheap to travel abroad, many guesthouses in Morecambe have been struggling, relying on factory workers as their main guests and many have closed.

The ethos of Guesthouses provides the visitor with an en-suite room, or bathroom for personal use nearby, access to a communal living area and a breakfast in a communal dining room. This encourages communication between the guests themselves and the owners but also inspires visitors to spend more time outside the guest house discovering the town or local area.



The lighthouse was constructed as part of the station when the stone jetty was built as a mark for ships, guiding them in towards the jetty however also warning boats of the extension out to sea.

Now-a-days boats have sophisticated radar and computer systems that lighthouses are not needed as a guide however the ethos of using light as a guide will be used throughout the projects, with the orientation of the sun guiding patients through their recovery, through the building.

There is a theme between the underlying dangers of the absence of light; in the case of the lighthouse not warning ships of dangers, and the lack of light in winter spurring S.A.D.







The site of Morecambe has one of the UKs largest populations of over-wintering birds and also provides a stop off for migrating birds as they continue their journey towards the equator. However the number of birds residing in the Morecambe area has been declining. This is mostly due to the boom of tourism and thus expansion of the little seaside town into a bustling coastal holiday destination.

This encouraged growth of the town onto the surrounding nature reserve, increased pollution into the sea and atmosphere and the increase in noise and lights drove many birds away from the area.

Also a popular seaside sport of capturing birds in flight in giant nets will not have helped this decline, especially when considering the order to cull the Oystercatcher population in the 70s.

However besides this, more birds have been returning to Morecambe recently as the abundance of food in the tidal salt flats ensures a strong food supply throughout the year. Also the decrease in activity in the area and thus decreased noise and people means that birds will not be too disturbed. The construction of the storm protection along the coast also provides some perching areas for the birds as they are unlikely to venture near the still populated promenade. However upon visiting Morecambe it can be seen that some residents encourage this influx of birds, venturing to more remote parts of the coast with bread and bits to feed the birds.





As can be seen on this map the Stone Jetty lies along the Mud flats in the bay, with the end of the pier lying along the average water line, marking the edge of the Kent Channel. The site of a Mud or Sand Flat slightly further out to sea is clearly a feeding ground for birds, providing an area where they can perch whilst being out to sea and thus away from human activity. The coastal area around the stone jetty is popular for many species of birds due to its dense food supply in the mud flats along the shallower parts of the bay. The bay more inland, about the base of the Stone Jetty is a popular roosting area for birds in Morecambe, the only space between the town and Heysham where roosting birds can be found. This area is largely unpopulated with occasional boats being launched from the Lifeboat slipway; however it is mainly an area where boats lie when not in use. The boulder area surrounding the Lifeboat Station is largely unused by humans therefore making it an ideal temporary resting spot for birds to perch.


Chunky and noisy, but with stars in their black feathers, they spring from the telephone wire and instantly they are acrobats in the freezing wind. And now, in the theater of air, they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising; they float like one stippled star that opens, becomes for a moment fragmented, then closes again; and you watch and you try but you simply can't imagine

how they do it with no articulated instruction, no pause, only the silent confirmation that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin over and over again, full of gorgeous life. Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter, even in the ashy city. I am thinking now of grief, and of getting past it; I feel my boots trying to leave the ground, I feel my heart pumping hard, I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.

“Starlings in winter�, Mary Oliver



The murmation of birds, in particular starlings during migration period is one of life’s natural wonders. The formation of such an exquisite moving cloud is made up of tens of thousands of starling birds moving together through the sky. Some regard Moving together in such a pack ensures protection by numbers but also the sheer volume aides movement against currents and winds in the air, easing their flight south in search of warmer climate.

This murmation occurs most commonly in November around the coastline of the UK however will happen again in spring upon their return and bird enthusiasts and novices alike flock to the coast to watch this mesmerising show. It is not known how these birds communicate with each other in this seemingly choreographed flight as the vision of the birds allows them to connect with their adjacent neighbour’s, not following one leader, which explains their non-linear V formation however not their movement together.

This flow of movement is not seen only with birds but within shoals of fish in the sea. Movement, a sudden turn or a change in speed of one bird is mimicked throughout the flocks it seems they are all interconnected between one another with the same dynamic web of interactions.

This concept can be applied within the building to create a more efficient room layout and thus allow for more efficient heating and ventilation systems.






As well as sunsets the sky and the movement of air, clouds and rain can choreograph other spectacular sights. The Sunset Restaurant will also provide the public with a sheltered space where these can be witnessed. HALO The optical phenomenon whereby light is refracted off six sided ice crystals to produce a ring of colour. PARHELIA Bright spots of light caused by refraction through flat horizontal crystals when the sun is low. CORONA Halos created from water whereby light refracts around circular drop in the cloud. IRIDESCENCE Pastel shades of colour around the edges or through transparent clouds.

LIGHT PILLARS Light reflecting through tilting crystals as the fall during sunrise and sunset. CREPUSCULAR RAYS Rays radiating from a single point in the sky during dusk or dawn.

AURORA A collision of charged particles directed by Earth’s magnetic field leads to patterns of bright colour. GLORY LIGHT Backscattered light in the sky.

LIGHTNING A sudden discharge or electricity in the sky producing an intense spark of light.



One method of preserving fish is to pack fresh fish with salt. The salt crystals prevent growth of micro bacteria within the fish thus allowing them to be stored for long periods of time. The salty brine also enhances the flavours. Best results are obtained when used on low fat white meat fish such as cod, herring and shad.

BEHEADDING The fish should be beheaded and gutted as soon as possible once caught. This is done by slicing the head off along the slanted line which follows around the gills of the fish. GUTTING Next a slit is cut from the gills, along the ventral fold to the anal vent. From this the insides, including the black membrane, can be removed. BLEEDING The fish must be completely bled before salting to prevent infection or spoiling.

DICING If the fish is heavier than 10 pounds it is common to split the fish from head to tail leaving the collar bone. SALTING & STORING Cover the base of the container with a layer of salt. Lay the fish, skin down, along this, ensuring no overlapping. Cover this layer with salt and repeat the process a few times. The final layer should be placed skin side up and covered with a layer of salt. A brine will form as the salt extracts moisture from the fish and this must be kept saturated (maximum amount of salt dissolved). The colder the weather the longer the fish must remain in the salt, in Morecambe winters at least 21 days. The fish takes on a whitish colour over the translucent flesh and there will be only a slight odour of fish and brine if prepared correctly.

WASHING Once salting is complete the fish can be washed in clean sea water and pressed using weights to remove as much moisture before drying. The longer the fish is left to soak the more salt is removed.

DRYING The fish can be dried using sunshine and wind in an open space, however should be kept in the shade for the first day to prevent ‘sunburn’. Following this they need to be left in maximum sun and wind exposure either on triangular blocks or hung by the tail for roughly 6 full days. They also require shelter from rain and damp. PREPARING Fish can then be refrigerated and cooked on their own or in a sauce.




Although stilt fishing is a rather unknown art, limited to the island of Kathaluwa, the concept of being alone out at sea, separated from everyone and everything, and surrounded by water suggests a very peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

In this region stilt fishing is the livelihood of many locals who do not wish to disturb the fish by entering the waters however as rocks and boulders are limited, the technique of fishing from a wooden pole protruding 2 m above the water. Often the fishermen will appear about sunrise, noon and sunset, and will often sit for hours until have caught enough.

Stilt fishing relies on the movement of fish, areas of habitation and care from the fishermen to not disturb the fish scaring them from returning. In the case of Morecambe much of the fish in the bay reside around the structures of the piers, jetties and sea defences






Over a third of the population in the northern part of the north hemisphere sufferer some sort of seasonally affected depression during the winter months. This can be put down to the colder, shorter days with much less light and longer hours of darkness. The bad weather and miserable weeks following the excitement of Christmas and New Year are considered the worst for sufferers of S.A.D. However some people are more susceptible to a change in attitude and outlook over the winter months and exhibit some very strong symptoms of depression including; anxiety, tiredness, sleep troubles, weight gain/loss, loss of concentration, loss of motivation and interest and become antisocial and unproductive for a few months of the year every winter. Although some people are able to cope and function throughout the winter with some of these symptoms some sufferers are more severe and during the months of December, January and February they struggle. Often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as depression means that there are many sufferers in Britain and other Northern part of Europe who are not receiving the treatment they require. Since the illness is only experienced for around three months of the year, antidepressants are not a good solution. Instead people are encouraged to purchase ‘lightboxes’ which are artificial lights which mimic natural daylight to try and stimulate the body into thinking it is summer. Sometimes this is combined with ‘negative ionisation therapy’ where, again summer is mimicked, as higher densities of negatively charged ions are directed at the patient to create the denser air found in the summer season.

Other treatment methods include dawn stimulation alarm clocks, therapy and group therapy. Change in lifestyle is also recommended and people are advised to partake in additional exercise in the winter months as well as try to maintain a diet rich in vitamin D for example eating high amounts of fish. However these treatment methods require time and money but also these artificial solutions such as the alarm clock and light-box are limited.

Another solution is to migrate, like birds, to warmer, summer climates for a few weeks of the New Year to escape. However this is even more costly and thus a luxury but also it is not healthy as the patient is not tackling the illness.

The concept of Morecambe’s treatment centre for S.A.D. provides affordable holidays for Europeans, especially British sufferers, where holistic alternatives to these treatments are available and encouraged whilst also giving patients a holiday break which they can tailor to their schedule and their personal illness. At the centre patients are fast tracked through the psychological side of treatment, whilst also experiencing the other physical approaches to tackling S.A.D. it is then hoped that new therapy group and contacts will be created between visitors that can continue once they return to everyday life. Cycles will operate around public holidays and will be centred over weekends on weekly and fortnightly cycles.



Medical research shows that walking just 10,000 steps a day can hugely improve your health. On average people take around 3-4,000 steps as part of their daily routine however extending your walking time for just 5 days a week can lead to multiple health benefits. These include physical improvements like weight loss, toning, healthier heart rate and lung capacity, as well as lowering ones risk of heart or obesity related diseases and problems such as diabetes, asthma, stokes and cancer. Improvements can also be seen with mental health like improved sleep patterns and concentration, better eating habits and generally lifting moods.

Simple steps can be incorporated into ones daily routine such as getting off the bus early, taking the stairs not the lift, walking with children or dogs instead of using public transport and partaking in local activities within walkable distance. Walking can also become a sociable activity with friends or a walking group. Once you start this therapeutic activity other exercise may also appeal to you and your body will be in a better shape to take part in them. Although 10,000 steps requires motivation and effort often these walks can enhance and expand your interests in nature and the city and people around you. Walking around a new city is the best way to experience it, and taking a stroll around an area of particular interest or with good views can mean that time flies.

Walking is especially recommended to older adults as not only does it decrease their risk of disability but also helps them maintain independence. In particular after an accident or before and after an operation walking can speed and maintain a healthy recovery. Based on studies sheltered older people on average walk about 0.66m/s, roughly 2.376 km/hr. The recommended amount of daily aerobic exercise for adults is 30 minutes a day making that 1.19 km for the average elderly person.



One of the recommended treatments for S.A.D is group therapy, usually involving 12 sessions over six weeks lasting on average an hour and a half. Participating in this type of therapy with a group of people also suffering from the same illness and thus having similar symptoms can be much more beneficial than individual therapy. Commonly this type of group would be made up of seven to twelve individuals.

Talking, discussing and listening within a group of similar patients helps as meeting people who are experiencing the same negative thoughts and depression as the patients can help each other feel less alone. It also can help you to combat these, working as a team, and successful patients serve as role models to fellow sufferers. Not only does the individual have a larger support network through this treatment but also the group discussions allow the therapist to monitor the behaviour and response of the individual and thus analyse them in a more relaxed atmosphere. Group therapy is also more cost effective for the individual and sets up a safe haven in which an individual can seek to overcome their depression. By creating these relationships between patients it is hoped that these lines of communication will be sustained whilst patients are not partaking in the residential treatment and thus can maintain a healthier outlook throughout the winter months even when not in Morecambe.






This famous art deco hotel in Morecambe is particularly of relevance to this brief as it lies at the start of the Stone Jetty. It appears, when comparing the design to the sun rose, that it too is orientated about the evening sun path, in particular the positioning of the summer sunsets. The hotel itself has been recently renovated and continues to be a popular spot for locals and tourists, marking it out from the empty shops, cafes and guesthouses along the promenade.

The design of the hotel is very striking when viewed from the beach front as the light from the bay reflects off the glazed faรงade of the bar and tea rooms, as can be seen in the photographs. The white surface also reflects light, especially through the summer, brightening up the promenade.

The positioning of the hotel is pivotal in separating the coastal faรงade along the promenade and the dilapidated living city of Morecambe. It is situated along the axis of the only remaining pier structure, dividing the associated area of the old harbour and lido from the noisy main road and dilapidated mall and car park.

The regeneration of the hotel is in stark contrast to its surroundings however it is hoped that its renovation will mark the beginning of a rejuvenated Morecambe.




What is particularly exciting about the Blur Building which might inform this project is the manner of the approach and how the building is seen throughout the journey towards it. The blur building is particularly interesting as it appears that one can view the structure from a distance however once on the approach, in this case a bridge pier structure on water, the building becomes a massive ‘blur’ until one has actually reached it. This masking of the final destination both makes the approach more intriguing but also the actual arrival at the building more exciting.

The basic layout of pier structures involves a communal space which houses events, seating and shelter all of which are passed on the way to the grand theatre or event space at the end. Also the idea that this end space is much larger in volume and capacity that the smaller, more quirky stalls along the pier.

The Blur Building is very aesthetically pleasing in two it blends into the environment and the sky making its positioning on top of water more whimsical and transient. The vapour ‘blurring’ out the border between the solid structure and the water. The technical aspect of this building will also be interesting to study when consolidating the design of the steaming room and therapy walls containing and condensing the steam.



T U R N E R C O N T E M P O R A R Y G A L L E R Y , D A V I D C HI P P E R F I E L D

The Turner Contemporary Gallery in the historic seaside town of Margate signifies the start of the regeneration of the once famous beach resort. Situated at the exact location where J.M.W.Turner used to stay, the building aims to captures the views and atmosphere that Turner once loved. In particular it was the ethereal light at Margate that Turner captured in many of his famous painting. David Chipperfield has designed the Gallery to enable and enhance these views, as well as utilise as much of this amazing natural light within the gallery.

As can be seen in the first image, upon entrance to the gallery the visitor is met with this huge, two storey window which frames the spectacular view out to sea which Turner admired. The footprint of the building is designed to utilise as much of this intriguing northern light as possible and is thus orientated to do so.

The external faรงade of the structure is very simple, which was part of the design brief, however magical in the way it changes to reflect the surrounding atmosphere and light of the skies and sea. This structure, due to its positioning and scale, can be seen upon all coastal approaches to Margate acting as a guide to visitors. The simplistic nature of the external and internal design indicates the priorities of the brief to produce a simple yet iconic building for the town. Since construction finished in 2011, 900,000 people have visited and the effects of it can be seen beginning to spread through the town as more redevelopment takes place. Margate has since been listed as one of the Rough Guides Top Places to visit in 2013, a concept that has not been considered since is heyday as a Victorian seaside resort. As much as the gallery aims to attract tourists to the area, in which it has proved successful, the space also aims to engage the community of Margate with many local artists getting involved and with many of the exhibitions focusing on public engagement and participation. The space has been designed for art amateurs however can also be appreciated by fanatics alike.



P L E A S U R E B E A C H , C O N N E C TI C U T

The abandoned pleasure beach along the Connecticut shoreline is now home for hundreds of shorebirds. Here there is a balance between human living and habitats of endangered birds.

Similarly to Morecambe Bay, the acres of salt flats that once housed recreational facilities for locals and tourist are dilapidated or gone. However where the site has been abandoned by people it now provides extensive perch space for many species of bird. Since 2008 this space has been reclaimed as an essential habitat for wildlife, and officially named an Important Bird Area. This concept of birds taking over spaces and structures, which have long since been abandoned by humans, and building their homes there will hopefully be brought into the design and ethos of the project.




This project is particularly interesting when considering the symbolism and memories behind the architecture, but also the construction of the actual structure. The project was constructed to remember witches who were burnt at the stake during the 1600s. Zumthor’s design consisted of a wooden frame, similar to pier structures, within which a suspended corridor walkway hung.

The walkway, accessible to the public commemorated the 91 suspected witches who died through a network of dangling bare light bulbs. These hang behind windows allowing connectivity to the structure and message from both inside and out. This use of light and views is very exciting and unique but also the theme of this project can also link to the Pendle Witch trials in Lancashire. The frail nature of the structure is particularly evocative, commemorating the life and emotions of the 91 victims whereas the end installation, by another artist, is an aggressive memorial for the death and fire.




The Army Fort, made up of seven individual towers connected by a walkway, consists of one tower, four gun towers and a tower with a searchlight arranged around a central control tower hub. Each tower was accessible from the base of the platform by means of a ladder which extended down to the sea and could be accessed by boat. Today all three floors of the towers remain abandoned however have previously been used as pirate radio stations.

Construction of these towers was done on shore then they were floated out to sea and the foundations and supports were installed grounding them into the site. These towers and the form and construction may help inform the design of the individual residential/bird hides in this project.



CRITICAL REFLECTION Since project two, the overarching theme of studio work has been focused on the sunsets, one of Morecambe’s last remaining natural assets. Therefore in the approach to briefing project three the concept of enhancing and utilising the sunset and light in Morecambe led to the concept of a treatment centre for people with S.A.D, which linked into the idea of Morecambe being in ‘winter’ since the ‘summer’ of the 50s – 70s when it was a thriving UK seaside resort.

Initially my priorities covered six quite expansive threads of research into the history, culture and activities connected to the bay. However, over time, these have been refined, and in some cases, merged together, to inform some architectural details, relationships and spatial concepts. Having already worked on the same site for project two, it worked quite nicely that the site criteria also fitted for this project. Originally it was not planned to incorporate project two into this project however in keeping with the enhancement of the Stone Jetty it did not seem right to then keep the hideous concrete end of the pier, especially as it enhances the public experience of the building.

The link between movement of people with S.A.D. to Morecambe and bird migration was incorporated in the brief from the beginning however the relationship was only resolved upon meeting Audrey and uncovering the connection between bird populations in Morecambe and the expanse and decline of the towns holiday resort. This also meant that although the building is still seasonal, it is functional throughout the whole year. Initially the building was to be open for six weeks in the winter for group treatment of S.A.D with a restaurant area open all year round. However with the incorporation of the bird habitat and hides in summer and the extension of the treatment (after further research into the impact times of the illness) to 6 months, the building is more economically viable and engages sufferers, birdwatchers and the community the whole year.

Originally the concept of treating S.A.D. holistically, using natural alternatives to common treatment methods, available in Morecambe would inform specific criteria for the rooms and spaces. The orientation of the building was also to mimic the journey of the sun, with the journey through the building travelling from east to west. However researching into the sun paths in winter it became apparent that the journey of the sun was not as simple, and the suns positioning at key moments would dictate the orientation of certain rooms and inform their features and views, Examining sun roses throughout the whole year meant it became necessary to understand the key differences between summer and winter paths to inform spaces depending whether they were seasonally occupied or accessible all year round. Deciding to use the suns path on ‘Blue Monday’ or more specifically January 21st, which is considered the most depressing date of the year, mid-winter, refined the design and gave all the ‘winter’ aspects of it a more strict orientation.

Initially it was coincidence that the site contained a small café which was going to be built around however further research discovered that the building, an historic rail station and lighthouse, now the Stone Jetty Café was Grade II listed and therefore had restriction on building upon or destroying. This then gave way to the idea that the building and lighthouse could somehow be incorporated into the design, especially since it sat where part of the restaurant needed to be, and it had structures and symbolism of light. Having this historic building already on the site connects more strongly to the history of the booming tourist attraction that Morecambe once was, and the design and materiality of this structure can be used to inform part of the design of the building around it. It is a shame that more information was not available regarding the old train tracks along the site and the exact function and schematic of the underground chambers along the jetty as this may have influenced the brief and informed the design. Overall I am pleased with the final briefing document and the development processes involved in the design. It is a shame to have researched extensively into additional topics such as shrimping and witchcraft to then not feature strongly in the final design and programme of the building. It is interesting to think that the project could have easily been completely different if I had responded differently to the experience of Morecambe and research around it. 67





Adamson, S.H., 1977. Seaside Piers. London: The Anchor Press Ltd

Colston P, & Burton P., 1988. A field guide to the waders of Britain and Europe. London: Hodder and Stoughton

Dare P.J., 1970. Movement of Oystercatchers: Haematopus ostralegus L. visiting or breeding in British Isles. London: Her Majesty’s stationary office English Heritage. 1990. Former Station Building and Lighthouse, Stone Jetty. Website: Accessed: 08.04.2013

Hassan, J., 2003. The Seaside, Health and the Environment in England and Wales since 1800. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Limited. Howard E., 1948. Territory in Bird Life. London: Collins

Lancashire County Council, 2006. Morecambe: Historic Town Assessment Report. Preston: Lancashire County Council Mind, 2013. Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder. Website: Accessed: 11.03.2013

Motavalli, J., 2012. Pleasure Beach: A Place for Birds and People. USA: Audubon Magazine Myrddin, 2012. Secret life of modern-day witches. BBC News; Horsburgh, L

Nagodawithana, M.T.K., 2013. Stilt fishing in Kathaluwa and Ahangma. Colombo: Dept. of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Developement

NCBI, 2007, Distance to achieve steady state walking speed in frail elderly persons. Dept. of Geriatric Rehabilitation, Stuttgart, Germany. Website: Accessed: 10.03.2013. Seasonal Affective Disorder Association. 2013. What Is Sad?. Website: Accessed: 15.02.2013.

Smallman, R., Stone Jetty, Morecambe. Website: Accessed 08.04.2013

The Practical Encyclopaedia for Sustainable Living. 2013. How to Salt Fish. Website: Accessed: 20.03.2013 UK Met Office. 2013. Morecambe Weather (Climate period: 1981-2010). Website: Accessed: 01.04.2013.


IMAGES Blackpool sign, National Railway Museum:

Morecambe bay map: Morecambe historic map: Morecambe site map:


Morecambe Seaside Resort:

Seaside piers:

Stilt Fishing:

Midland Hotel:

Blur Building:

Turner Contemporary Gallery:

Steilneset Witches Memorial, Peter Zumthor

Thames Red Sands:


Briefing Document Alice Thompson (2)  

Part 2 document investigating the site conditions and researching history, precedents and traditions of Morecambe as well as the past and pr...