Friday 11 March 2016

Press contact: Michelle Porter 07785 993 285


Gateway Cafe Peacehaven shortlisted for RIBA South East 2016 Awards


The Gateway Café built as part of the Big Parks Project is one of eleven buildings that have been shortlisted for RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) South East 2016 Awards. There were 32 buildings entered in the region, and the Gateway Café in Peacehaven designed by Kaner Olette has made the short list.


The Gateway Cafe building was originally built in 1979 to house a council maintenance depot. Features included an asbestos roof, brick walls and unattractive security fencing. On a modest budget the project was a challenge but Architect Mike Kaner is a keen advocate of retrofitting within Architecture and explains that “The benefits of re-using the existing structure reduces the requirement for demolitions, taking material to landfill as well as the cost and carbon footprint of new materials.Coupled to this the capital costs are kept down. We also like the idea of working within the constraints of re-using buildings and the transformation that can be achieved.” By re using the original footprint of the building disturbance of the important site archaeology was also avoided. The transformation is incredible. The roof was replaced with recyclable zinc and the exterior walls insulated and clad with sweet chestnut which suits the coastal environment.


Kaner Olette believe that “ people’s lives can be enhanced through inspirational design and a close relationship with the environment.With this in mind, the Gateway Interpretation Cafe not only contains carbon reducing features (a wood pellet stove produces hot water and heating and solar panels on the roof produce hot water and electricity) it is also aesthetically pleasing with its framed view of the South Downs National Park and ‘contemporary vernacular’. It really is a great asset, not only to the Big Park but for the local community as a whole.”


Mike Kaner said “We are extremely proud to have shortlisted for an RIBA award as it provides recognition for the whole project team for a challenging retrofit scheme with limited budget.  We hope it can raise the profile of this unique site and its evolving facilities and help enhance the aspiration and benefits of good design in a deprived area.”


Notes to editors:


RIBA Awards have run continuously since 1966 and are judged and presented locally.No matter the shape, size, budget or location, RIBA Award-winning schemes set the standard for great architecture all across the country. RIBA Awards are for buildings in the UK by RIBA Chartered Architects and RIBA International Fellows.The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members. 


Stirling Prize for the best building of the year will be drawn from the RIBA National Award-winning buildings later in the year./ends