Hastings Pier is playing host to an architecture festival this weekend - mixing food and live music with a prestigious annual graduate show.
The free show, taking place on Saturday and Sunday (June 9 -10), includes street food traders from aPIERtite, craft beer from The Brewing Brothers and a live music stage until 11pm.
It also features work from the University of Brighton School of Architecture and Design’s undergraduates, who have built 19 temporary ‘pavilions’ on the Pier Head to display an amazing range of projects and ideas.
Head of school Robert Mull said: “Shows like this, end-of-year shows, tend to be in university premises or in backrooms and what fantastic about this is that it’s public. You can just wander through it, just sit on it and take in the show. Tomorrow there will be events going on within some of the exhibition and there’s going to be live music.
“We don’t see really any sort of boundary between what we’re doing and real life and that’s a really good lesson for the students.”
Professor Mull added that part of the reason for holding the show on Hastings Pier was its own extraordinary design, which saw it win the RIBA Stirling Prize earlier this year.
Prof Mull said: “It’s sort of a recognition - between us, our students and the pier - of how the pier operates.
“We all admire it and we admire its ambitions and ethos. It’s beautifully designed, carefully made, it has a clear social purpose and these are things we value and try to do within the work of the school .
“We were delighted to take up the challenge of occupying it and, I imagine, occupying it in a way its architects really wanted it to be occupied.
“We’ve also had incredible support from what we affectionately call the ‘Pier People’, who is everyone who is running the pier. They’ve helped us with everything right from how you fix things to the pier structure and they’ve been amazing.”
Professor Mull’s excitement is shared by 22-year-old architecture undergraduate Michael Holland. A Hastings local, Micheal says he was pleased with the decision to use the pier. He said:
Hastings local Michael Holland, 22, a third-year architecture student from Hastings, said: “I was quite excited to see how it would turn out because a lot of people from the course hadn’t been to the pier before, didn’t know what it was like.
“I had a funny feeling it would the ideal spot for it and think it has worked out really well.
“All the huts were pre-fabricated in Newhaven and we moved the panels over here to the pier. I didn’t have anything to do with the pre-fabricating but we assembled them all here and customised them. We painted ours in bright colours, because of our brief this year. Each studio’s is unique in the way it teaches and it’s nicce for the huts to reflect that.
“I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.”
On Saturday (June 9) music promoters Fat Tuesday will be running a festival stage on the Pier Head to accompny the university show. The stage sees live music from Brighton acts La Lune and Sabrina Gunston, as well as a headline slot from local trail blazers Someone/Anyone and a DJ set from Irish collective ‘Rushbrooke Music’.
Pier General Manager Paul Denne said, “After the success of the May Day weekend, we are delighted to be working with Brighton University to be hosting what promises to be another exciting and vibrant free event for the town, and it really will be a unique privilege to see the work of the talented architects and designers of tomorrow.”
Saturday also sees what is expected to be a lively discussion around the Pier’s own architecture with a discussion titled ‘Hastings Pier: A Conversation about its Past, Present and Future’. Panelists include: Jess Steele who is credited with spearheading the campaign to save the Pier in 2010; local architect Iain Exeley; and Brighton University architect Michael Spooner, who was involved in the Pier’s rebuild.
The exhibition will also be open to the public all day on Sunday (June 10), along with street food from aPIERtite and music from Dan Boyd and friends.
For more information please visit hastingspier.org.uk