Take a fresh look at the British beach hut

Lionel T Bird's The Wizard Of Oz features in Bathing Beauties: Re-imagining The British Beach Hut For The 21st Century at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum
Lionel T Bird's The Wizard Of Oz features in Bathing Beauties: Re-imagining The British Beach Hut For The 21st Century at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

The traditional British beach hut receives a radical redesign at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum from this weekend.

Bathing Beauties: Re-imagining The Beach Hut For The 21st Century opens at the Little Elborow Street gallery on Saturday, the final stop on a national tour.

The exhibition evolved from Bathing Beauties, a project conceived by artist Michael Trainor to challenge architects, designers and artists to take a radical approach to redesigning the traditional beach hut.

Nearly 250 designs were submitted, ranging from beach huts inspired by seaside staples such as sandcastles and fishing boats to radical redesigns incorporating wind turbines, saunas and space-age materials.

Mr Trainor said: “The beach hut is one of the few building forms which has been seriously overlooked by contemporary architects the world over.

“They are perceived as a treasured feature of our coastal landscape, as quintessentially British as fish and chips and the knotted hanky, but in reality are usually little more than a painted shed.”

Bathing Beauties: Re-imagining The Beach Hunt For The 21st Century features more than 100 scale models of the beach hut designs.

The exhibition, from the National Centre for Craft & Design in Lincolnshire, has generated international press coverage and embarked on an extensive national tour after securing support from Arts Council England.

Its final stop at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum coincides with the Rugby Festival of Culture, a celebration of art, literature, music and theatre.

During the exhibition, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum hosts a number of activities and workshops inspired by the seaside theme. Visit www.ragm.co.uk for more details.

Bathing Beauties: Re-imagining The Beach Hut For The 21st Century runs at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum until Monday 31 August.

Visit www.nationalcraftanddesign.org.uk and www.bathingbeauties.org.uk for more information about the project.