Friday, June 22, 2007
Surfpods In Newquay
Sounding like the progeny from a sci-fi flick where a surfboard has mated with a Triffid, I'm not referring to anything quite so alien here, just an example of a property developer jumping on the woody and using surfdom's marketing potential to sell flats.
Tagged as "funky micro homes for the urban surfer", you have the opportunity to pay between £141,000 - £200,000 for a one bedroom apartment - sorry, surf pod. I can't quite fathom from the blurb exactly what design features have been incorporated that differentiates these flats from any other squeezebox - apart from a reference to a locker where, presumably, you can rack your board and wetsuit. You have to share washers and drying machines though - hopefully more sand resistant than the three I've gone through in as many years. Lots of glass and steel feature in the design - how funky is that?
Most folks I know who are into the ocean are also concerned enough about the environment that when the opportunity arises, they'll increasingly look for designs that utilise local materials and have green credentials. Surfers are developing their adventurous tastes and demanding more when it comes to the layout, design and functions of their pads.
This is a subject close to my heart. Beach Bum's shack is scheduled for a major re-vamp and in choosing an architect, it was important for me to deal with people genuinely interested in eco-friendly design and sustainability. As well as a company that's got these credentials, I've hired an architect that surfs.
Now, it's true these flats are close to Newquay's beaches, bars and restaurants. They'll also be in earshot of the stag nights and hen parties for which the town is infamous. I wonder just how many surfers will be holed up in these pods in a year's time ?
When I read that the “we are aiming at the guy in Canary Wharf who wears a suit all week, sees on the net that the surf is up on a Thursday, books his flight and comes down for the weekend” I'm sure they will have no problem selling them.
Despite the upbeat Times report on the development, I'll be thinking of the local first time buyer still searching for a home long after the suit has moved on.
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