Seaside resort pioneers Butlin’s is a beloved heritage brand in UK culture. Its holiday camps have been entertaining generations of families since 1936.
Billy Butlin’s original ‘Our true intent is all for your delight’ phrase has shaped the company’s ambition and defined its reputation for over 80 years. This mission was front of mind when the Butlin’s leadership team was planning their most recent investment strategy for the Butlin’s sites of today. In 2014, they decided that the time was right to modernise its flagship pool at the hugely popular Bognor Regis site.
Given the unpredictable Britsh weather, FITCH set about designing an iconic new £40m pool for Butlin’s Bognor Regis resort with the aim of ‘bringing the seaside inside’.
Our vision and creative direction was governed by an art deco aesthetic which would celebrate the brand’s distinguished heritage, bring a sense of calm to a frequently chaotic environment, and delight contemporary holiday makers. It would also provide a bright and fun environment for surrounding amenities such as the Changing Village and café.
During the planning stages we developed bespoke VR technology to deliver a preview of the proposed design to the Butlin’s board. Two million tiles later (and the longest hoarding board ever printed by FITCH, totaling in at 134 metres) the new pool launched in May 2019, to a multitude of consumer press coverage and jubilant reviews.
Featuring 6,300 square metres of waves and waterslides, the new pool is a true pioneer project in the leisure sector; nodding to original pioneer Billy Butlin and driving through a belief that ‘value’ doesn’t have to be synonymous with ‘cheap’ or ‘basic’.
The new pool incorporates the world’s first helter-skelter water slide, which sits in beautiful symmetrical distance of the hero Butlin’s fountain, as well as additional innovative features like the ‘stick of rock’ racer slide.
The new design means that the sun is shining whatever the infamously fickle British weather has planned. A tremendous sense of space and light pervades the entire structure, with huge floor-to-ceiling viewing windows in the reception to make an immediate impact. The open-plan Changing Village is rendered in warm sunshine tones – a far cry from the cramped, plastic-fantastic environments to which the nation has become accustomed.