JaK Studio adds The Spy Glass to a series of Eastbourne beach huts


Nick Kane, Francesco Russo

London- and Sarajevo-based architect JaK Studio has completed the second of five planned beach huts to be constructed by Eastbourne Borough Council following a design competition held in 2015. (The first, by Stephen Foley, was completed in the summer).

The five huts will eventually form part of the Coastal Culture Trail that links the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne, De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill and Jerwood Gallery in Hastings. Part of the Driving Devonshire Forward initiative and funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, The Huts project aims to contribute to Eastbourne’s regeneration and enhance its cultural offering.


Ph: Nick Kane

For JaK Studio’s project, know as the ‘Spy Glass’, “the idea was to build a structure that has all the nostalgia of an original beach hut with a new physical form that would pay homage to the classic beach hut – an iconic symbol of the British seaside”, says the architect.

Shaped like a set of coin-in-the-slot binoculars – a familiar seaside sight – the hut is built on a concealed vehicle turntable, allowing its picture window to be trained on a variety of views, from the sun on the sea to the lights of Eastbourne Pier. The cabin can be rotated through 180 degrees, via remote control.

Structural axonometric and view of installation (ph: Francesco Russo)

From the beachfront promenade, visitors enter via a timber-clad door below an overhang formed by the cantilevered daybed inside. This cantilever has two porthole windows and an external shower head.


Phs: Nick Kane

Dimensions were drawn from those of a typical traditional beach hut, and the cabin is two metres wide, three metres long and three metres high. Robust nautical materials were specified to stand up to the rigours of the environment.


Ph: Francesco Russo

“We wanted to pay homage to the traditional beach hut whilst creating a modern concept for a design classic”, says Jacob Low, founding partner of JaK Studio. “A big inspiration to our project was the coin slot binoculars which allow one to gaze out to sea. As you can move these binoculars users can also move our Spy Glass to interact with the sun or coastline. It will hopefully bring a bit of nostalgia to local residents and those visiting on days out”. The Spy Glass will be available to visit and rent as event space.

Additional Images


JaK Studio
Design consultant
Seymour Powell
Structural engineer
Consulting artist
Alban Low
Lighting designer
Light IQ
Textile designer
CDM2015 advisor
Fred Hurr

Specialist concrete
GSSL Gunite, Shotcrete Services
Vehicular turntable
UK Turntables