Hastings Pier – Stirling Prize Winner 2017
London-based architects dRMM have rebuilt and reimagined the Hastings pier, which burnt down in 2010, by salvaging parts of the pier from the fire and working them into a new sleek design. Their work has seen them awarded the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture.
When the pier burnt down in 2010, it really hit the community hard and their response? They raised over £14 million to save the pier. But to rebuild the Hastings Pier respectfully was not going to be an easy task, but dRMM certainly pulled it off.
The fire of 2010 – Hastings Pier
Alex de Rijke, a director at dRMM, stated there was never any thought of copying the former Hastings Pier in the rebuild, but rather take the essence of the former pier and transform it into something new. To do this they undertook the long and tedious process of restoring the 19th century structural iron work and they also used the recovered decking to create the new visitor’s centre, one of only two buildings constructed on the pier. The other building is the recovered Victorian Pavilion, the only original structure remaining, which has been turned into a cafe.
Recovered decking of the Vistor’s Centre
They have also decided to leave the pier mostly empty, rather than packing the pier full of buildings. They did this with the intention to provide huge spaces for more temporary events running in the town. And it also provides stunning landscape views of the sea.
An event on Hastings Pier
Ben Derbyshire, the RIBA president and Stirling Prize jury chair 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.”
The chair of the 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 residents and visitors.”
What they have created is a beautiful looking pier that pays homage to the past and provides a real purpose for the future – and looks like the dream place for some summer sundowners!
A worth candidate of this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize.