Hastings Pier has been the named as the UK’s best new building for 2017 after triumphing at the country’s most prestigious architecture awards.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced Hastings Pier, by dRMM Architects, as the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize winners at a ceremony in London on Tuesday night (October 31).
By winning the accolade, the pier joins an elite list of landmarks including The Gherkin, Lords’ Cricket Ground, Madrid Barajas Airport, Scottish Parliament Building and Waterloo Station.
RIBA president and RIBA Stirling Prize jury chairman Ben Derbyshire, said: “Hastings Pier is a masterpiece of regeneration and inspiration. The architects and local community have transformed a neglected wreck into a stunning, flexible new pier to delight and inspire visitors and local people. Hastings Pier showcases the remarkable skills, tenacity and problem-solving flair of its talented architects, dRMM.
“It also rewards the patrons of this great architectural achievement: the local people who have taken the initiative, and risk, to create this highly innovative and extraordinary new landmark. I am delighted to award the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize to the people’s pier.”
Hastings Pier fought off stiff competition for the title, from Barret’s Grove in Stoke Newington, The British Museum World Conservation and Exhibition Centre, City of Glasgow College – City Campus, Command of the Oceans in Chatham and Juergen Teller’s Photography Studio in London.
Founding director of dRMM, Professor Alex de Rijke, added: “dRMM Architects were delighted to collaborate with Hastings Pier Charity on this ambitious project which, like a ‘Phoenix from the ashes’, was realised through dedicated community action. The new pier is designed as an enormous, free, public platform over the sea – inspiring temporary installations and events across a variety of scales. This space offered more potential than an ‘iconic’ building on the end of the pier, and demonstrates the evolving role of the architect as an agent for change.”
Chairman of Hastings Pier Charity, Maria Ludkin, added: “Hastings Pier is both a symbol of regeneration achieved when communities work together and a beautifully designed canvas to realise multiple uses for the residents and visitors to the town who come to enjoy it. dRMM developed a strong design vision; respecting both the history of the pier while demonstrating innovation and originality in coming up with a 21st-century solution.
“From the opening day, Hastings Pier has invited curious visitors, stimulated conversations, and engaged and welcomed all who use and support us. Accessible and sustainable, it frames a spectacular seascape and offers unlimited variations for relaxation, contemplation and play.”
Video footage by Eddie Mitchell.