Brighton Square is set to get a futuristic makeover with plans for a wood and fabric pod for diners to eat al fresco in all weathers – with the much loved dolphin fountain set to remain as its centrepiece.
The square’s owners, Centurion Group, have already got the go-ahead to convert five of the shops into one restaurant, and the prospective tenants, Coppa Club, want to go one step further with the dining pod, which echoes the lines of the i360 pod.
The 1970s fountain designed by James Osborn will be at the centre of the pod – and when it rains, an iris will close around it and funnel the rainwater to splash over the dolphins below.
John Gripton, property director for Coppa Club and a Brighton resident, said: “The British public relish the chance to eat outside where possible, but the weather often gets in the way. Our pod design is open and accessible so people can sit and enjoy lunch in the sunshine, or cosy up when the typical British weather kicks in
“I think our relaxed “make yourself at home” style will be well appreciated by my fellow Brightonians and I think Brighton Square is the perfect spot for our newest take on alfresco dining.”
Charles Draycott, whose grandfather built the square and whose Centurion Group now owns it, said: “Brighton Square has been a little dated and although it won awards in 1964 when it was built, that was 1964.
“This brings a modern look into a dated environment. It will improve the footfall for all the units in there which is good for local business.”
An application has now been submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council. If successful, this will be the second striking covered al fresco project for Coppa Club, which introduced pop up igloos at its Tower Bridge restaurant.
The pod has a translucent fabric cover and clear sliding polycarbonate sides designed to maintain the views across the square but also ensure that in bad weather the people inside are protected.
The focal point of the design is the ‘iris’ in the centre of the structure that rotates around the re-imagined fountain and closes up in bad weather to funnel rainwater into the fountain beneath the dolphins.
A model and visuals of the proposed pod design are currently displayed in the one of the vacant shops on the Square, and there will be an open-to- all drop in session on Wednesday 28 March from 12 noon till 7pm for anyone wanting to ask the Coppa Club further questions about their proposals.
Coppa Club says it aims to offer everything guests might expect from a members’ club at the proposed new Brighton site: all day dining; a great bar; comfy sofas to relax in, and a lounge area with Wi-Fi and plenty of sockets, perfect for meetings or just for settling in with your laptop.
The units which the Coppa Club will take over are 12-15 on the east side of the square, and have been home to the Angel Food Kitchen, Giggling Giraffe, Lovefit Cafe, and Simply the Best.