Hollaway Studio has designed a pioneering inland surfing lagoon creating Kent’s first surfing “wave garden”, alongside a 120-bed luxury spa hotel on land at former colliery, Betteshanger Country Park, near Deal SE England. Subject to planning approval in early 2023, the combined £50 million project, known as The Seahive, is scheduled to open in April 2025.
Hollaway Studio, the award-winning architecture practice which has studios in both London and Kent, has created the designs for the 15-acre site which will feature a Wavegarden Cove technology surf lagoon at its centre, which would be the second of its kind in England and the seventh of its kind in the world following facilities in Melbourne, South Korea, Switzerland, Brazil, Wales and Bristol.
The revolutionary Wavegarden Cove technology featured in the lagoon, which can be used by up to 80 people at a time, offers up to 1000 perfect waves per hour similar to those in the ocean. It can create more than 20 different wave types ranging from 50 cm to 2m in height, providing rides of up to 15 seconds long for all ages and abilities.
Overlooking the surfing lagoon is the ‘Lagoon Surf Hub’ with 15 accommodation lodges; a wellness centre with yoga and fitness zones, cold water therapy, meditation pavilions and a splash pool; a clubhouse with a surf academy as well as a restaurant and bar; conference facility; retail outlet; chill out spaces; dedicated work area; and immersive balcony. A dedicated learning hive will run a full-time schedule of courses for children via surf therapy and educational intervention programmes to enhance and protect their mental health.
In addition to the hub, there is a separate design for the destination 120-bed hotel, spa and gym. The inclusion of the hotel will work to readdress the lack of hotel rooms available in the surrounding area and welcome visitors from outside of the area.
While Kent may have easy access to the sea, the inclusion of the surf lagoon at The Seahive is an exciting one as the local sea conditions are not suitable for surfing. The Seahive project is part of the Betteshanger Country Park’s wider plans to expand, reflected by the recent additions in 2022 of a Mining Museum, café and restaurant as well as cycling tracks and play areas.
Building, Design and Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals