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Birnbeck Island


Masterplan for the RIBA-Urban Splash regeneration competition of the grade II* listed Birnbeck Pier

Birnbeck Island


Like a naval vessel, a curved basement embraces the diverse elements of Birnbeck Island. Constructed five metres beneath the main pier, the basement is accessible from a ramp near the gate of the island. Its sequence of spaces links all the buildings on the island from below. The vessel design counterpoints the new tall buildings, in plan oriented following the orthogonal reference system created through existing signs. The method of occupying the void synthesises diverse schemes: tower, linear, cantilever and gate. In each of their narrow frontages, at the top, a big window marks the seascape creating a panorama like multitude of lighthouses.

This text was first published in,[↗] London, 22 Jan. 2008.

Birnbeck Island

Birnbeck Island

Birnbeck Island

1890 Birnbeck Pier

Eugenius Birch, Hans Price, Birnbeck Pier, Weston‑Super‑Mare, 1866. Photography: Anonymous, 1890


  • Time: Oct. 2007 (design)
  • Place: Birnbeck Island, Weston‑Super‑Mare, Somerset, UK
  • Area: 9,000 m² (eleven storeys)
  • Typology: pier


  • Architecture design: Antonino Cardillo
  • Client: RIBA / Urban Splash
  • Translation: Charles Searson