Hastings Pier scoops three prestigious architectural awards

Hastings Pier
Hastings Pier

Hastings Pier has scooped three prestigious architectural awards at a ceremony last night (Thursday, May 25).

The iconic structure won a regional Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award, as well as two special awards – Regional Client of the Year for the Hastings Pier Charity, and Regional Project Architect of the Year for Alex de Rijke, dRMM Architects.

The awards were presented during a ceremony at Ascot Racecourse, in recognition of architectural excellence.

Dido Milne, chairman of the RIBA South East Awards jury panel, said a number of the winners ‘support the notion of conservation’ in its most progressive form, and serve as a timely reminder that the inventive re-use and adaptation of the existing built environment continues to be an intelligent and sustainable response to the increasing pressures on resources, both regionally and globally.

The 11 regional award winners, which also includes the British Airways i360, were drawn from a shortlist of 15 projects, from 45 entries.

RIBA South East regional award winners will also be considered for the highly-coveted RIBA National Awards in recognition of their architectural excellence: these will be announced on June 22.

The judge’s report about Hastings Pier said: “It has taken a seven-year heroic collaboration to turn a smouldering pier in disrepair and decline into a vibrant public space with a palpable sense of ownership.

“This collaboration has been between the community, the council, the engineers and the architect and it is the architect’s vision which has been vital throughout to steer the process.”

It added: “The decision not to place any building at the end of the pier, which is possibly the obvious position to site a building, is an extremely powerful move. The large open space provides a sense of calmness and delight, with a strong connection to the sea and the seafront.

“The experience of free space and ‘walking on water’ is heightened by the optics of a very beautiful, louvred balustrade design and quality timber deck. The new visitor centre replacing the weakest section of the damaged pier is a relatively simple CLT structure clad in reclaimed timber which was salvaged from the original fire-damaged pier. This helps to create a strong feeling of place and belonging.”

Last month, Hastings Pier won the coveted Pier of the Year title as judged by the National Piers Society.

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