Historic Hastings Pier in East Sussex, devastated by fire in 2010, has won the prestigious RIBA Stirling architecture award 2017 after a multi-million pound restoration work led by dRMM Architects, beating a shortlist heavy with heritage-sensitive work, including the new British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
The shortlist comprised:
- Barrett’s Grove, Stoke Newington, east London by Groupwork + Amin Taha
- British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre, Bloomsbury, London by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
- Command of the Oceans by Baynes and Mitchell Architects for Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent
- City of Glasgow College – City Campus, Scotland by Reiach & Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects
- Hastings Pier, East Sussex by dRMM Architects
- Photography Studio for Juergen Teller, west London by 6a architects.
Hastings Pier, which reopened in April 2016, beat five other buildings to the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) Stirling Prize. Now in its 22nd year, it is presented annually to the UK’s best new building.
Riba president Ben Derbyshire described the ‘stunning, flexible new pier’ as ‘a masterpiece of regeneration’. He also praised Hastings’ locals for finding 3,000 shareholders to buy £100 stakes in ‘the people’s pier’.
However it was revealed last month that Hastings Pier made insufficient money over summer to cover costs and that it had to make some staff redundant. The chair of trustees said they were working on a new business plan.
Other buildings shortlisted for this year’s Stirling Prize included the new City Campus at the City of Glasgow College and the Barrett’s Grove housing scheme in north London.
Originally built in 1872, Hastings Pier was judged Pier of the Year in April following its £14.2m restoration. The redevelopment took more than two years and saw the pier’s former pavilion turned into a restaurant and bar.
The rebuilt pier was designed by dRMM Architects, a London-based firm named after founders Alex de Rijke, Philip Marsh and Sadie Morgan. Accepting the prize, de Rijke praised the other nominees, saying:
‘You’ve all done fine buildings, but it seems that this year what really captured the imaginations was not doing one – in favour of making public space.’
The Stirling Prize judges praised the company for going ‘above and beyond’ in its ‘campaigning, galvanising and organising [of] local support’.
They also praised the timber-clad structure ‘for its remarkable use of sustainable materials’ and said that councils ‘should take inspiration’ from the project. This year’s judges included BBC journalist Evan Davis and Peter St John of Caruso St John Architects. The latter designed Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery, winner of last year’s Riba Stirling Prize.
Read the BBC News article