The RIBA Stirling Prize for 2017 has been awarded
to Hastings Pier. The project saw a vibrant, community-led
restoration of the pier on the East Sussex coast. Built in 1872,
the pier was home to pleasure and musical acts for many years,
but more recently became neglected. Following storm damage in
2008 and a fire in 2010, the pier faced destruction.
The local community was determined to use the fire as an
opportunity to return the pier to use and applied for Heritage
Lottery Funding. A RIBA competition for ideas was run with its
support and entries were supplied from around the world.
London-based architects dRMM won the competition and immediately
set about meeting with locals and stakeholders to help shape the
future of the pier; a future radically different from that of
its Victorian inception.
“There was no sense in trying to reconstruct it as a 19th
century pier – that typology had gone with the fire. There was
an opportunity to reuse and reinvent the pier and give it a new
future.” says Alex de Rijke, dRMM Founding Director.
RIBA President Ben Derbyshire, who chaired the RIBA Stirling
Prize jury, said: “Hastings Pier is a masterpiece in
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 alike.”
The Chair of Hastings Pier Charity, Maria Ludkin describes the pier as a “symbol of regeneration” having a positive impact on the local community and day-trippers, alike: “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.”
November 20, 2017