Coe Design’s Chesil Beach Visitor Centre proposal wins heritage lottery funding

Chesil Beach Visitor Centre

Approval has been given for Coe Design’s proposal for the redevelopment of the Chesil Beach Visitor Centre, situated on the 17-mile long Chesil Beach at the heart of England’s Jurassic Coast in Dorset, a place of international importance for its birds and marine wildlife.

The leading landscape architecture firm was appointed in 2009 to support Dorset County Council’s application to secure crucial heritage lottery funding for the development of England’s only natural UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.

The £1 million redevelopment project has been awarded £550,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and will be developed in time for the Olympic & Paralympic Games sailing events in 2012. The initial concept was developed with the artist John Maine RA.

Jenny Coe, Founding Director of Coe Design, said:

“Our sensitive landscape design for Chesil Beach Centre has been carefully tailored to minimise any impact or intervention on the surrounding ecosystems. This is absolutely crucial, since the area is acknowledged as a vital and secure habitat for protected species. It provides seven regional and international designations dedicated to the long-term preservation of wildlife.

“Our landscape design at Chesil includes the propagation of native planting grown from locally sourced seeds, along with plans to incorporate local Portland stone as an indication of the landscape’s ‘Jurassic’ heritage. The design for the ecology and planting will be developed with the Dorset Wildlife Trust to ensure the safety and ongoing enrichment of the existing habitats.”

Chesil Beach is known to be one of the finest barrier beaches in the world, running north-west all the way from Portland to West Bay, the majority of which consists of a shallow region of saline water called the Fleet Lagoon, the largest tidal lagoon in Britain. Made up of pebbles and shingle, Chesil Beach protects the Fleet and has stood up to the full force of the Atlantic for thousands of years. The redeveloped Centre will provide the opportunity for visitors of all ages to find out more about the heritage resource of Chesil Beach, the Fleet and the adjacent Lyme Bay and Portland Harbour, set within the context of the World Heritage Site.

The redevelopment is due for completion in February 2012

Chesil Beach Visitor Centre
Design Inspirations © Coe Design Landscape Architecture
Chesil Beach Visitor Centre
Elevations © Coe Design Landscape Architecture
Chesil Beach Visitor Centre
Beach View © Coe Design Landscape Architecture
Chesil Beach Visitor Centre
Lagoon © Coe Design Landscape Architecture


IMAGE CREDIT: © Coe Design Landscape Architecture


Lead Consultant: NVB Architects
Architect: NVB Architects
Project Manager: Dorset County Council
Structural Engineer: Integral Structural Design
M+E Engineer: Martin Thomas Associates
Civil Engineer: Rob Akerman
Quantity Surveyor: Baqus Denley King
CDM Coordinator: Allen Holmes

Interpretation:   Equal Studio Ltd
Sustainability & Energy: Dorset County Council
Artist:   John Maine

About Damian Holmes 5729 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at