Chesil Beach Visitor Centre

Dorset, UK

The existing Chesil Beach Visitor Centre is located in the ‘Jurassic Coast’ UNESCO World Heritage Site. Coe Design were appointed to work on the expansion of the visitor centre and assist in the Round 2 Heritage Lottery Fund application.


The environmental sensitivity of the Chesil and its surroundings is recognised in its multiple designations, with this in mind the landscape intent was driven by the principle of the ‘lightest-touch’ to minimise the impact of interventions. The proposals include propagation of seed sourced from site to enhance and protect existing coastal vegetated shingle habitats.


Design inspiration comes from the magnificent landscape which surrounds the site. Observations taken from nature such as the undulating shore line and storm patterning are incorporated into the site as designed pattern and form. The landscape design supports the working objectives of the centre through the provision of outdoor teaching areas, picnic facilities and board walk access to the shingle bank.


Working with the artist John Maine, our proposals explored the use of local Portland stone and its representation as ‘Jurassic’ elements within the landscape.



Chesil Bank And Fleet Nature Reserve


Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

Special Protection Area (SPA)

European Marine Site

The Fleet Swannery Trust

Ramsar Site

Red Data Book

Special Area of Conservation

UNESCO World Heritage Site


Client: Weymouth and Portland Borough Council

Architect: NVB Architects

Artist: John Maine

Coe Design