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Hastings Pier, a major community-led regeneration project designed by dRMM Architects, has won the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize.
Reinventing traditional pier design, Hastings Pier provides an open space, able to support a variety of events and uses from circuses to music events, fishing to markets.
The pier also received the RIBA People’s Vote, and was named 2017 Pier of the Year by the National Piers Society.
Professor Alex de Rijke, dRMM co-founder and architect directing the project said, “We were delighted to work with Hastings Pier Charity on this ambitious project which, literally a ‘Phoenix from the ashes’, was realised through dedicated community action and strong support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.”
Hastings Pier was owned by an offshore company when it was destroyed by fire in 2010. After the local authority acquired the ruin, the pier ownership was transferred to Hastings Pier Charity with over 3,000 shareholders following a successful crowdsourcing campaign.
Maria Ludkin, chair of Hastings Pier Charity said, “To have our pier recognised at the very highest level is an extraordinary achievement – this award belongs to the people of Hastings and St Leonards who came together to save this historic landmark and made it a beacon of a town’s regeneration.”
Judges of the RIBA Awards remarked, “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.”
dRMM was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2010 with Clapham Manor Primary School, and again in 2016 for Trafalgar Place housing.
De Rijke said the Hastings Pier design exemplifies the studio’s collaborative and lateral approach to architecture, “creating places that inspire, that are innovative but popular and socially useful. In design, sometimes all you need is less…”
The Stirling Prize is awarded by the RIBA in recognition of the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year.
Sadie Morgan, founding director of dRMM said, “It’s been a privilege for us to be a part of this extraordinary journey. The success of the Hastings Pier project is down to the many people, and the outcome; greater than the sum of its parts. The hard work and dedication of all of us here this evening is manifest in the spirit and enthusiasm with which the towns of Hastings and St Leonard’s have taken this project to their hearts.”
“Massive congratulations to DRMM for winning the Stirling Prize for this truly inspirational project. It is an exemplar to the power of the architect and architecture in helping to galvanise and manifest the true spirit of community and place. Outstanding.” Andy Puncher, director, pH+
“The choice of achieving something regenerative lies within us all, and for that dRMM must be celebrated and thanked.” J-J Lorraine, co-founder, Morrow + Lorraine
“A lovely example of ‘building on the built’, a collaboration of old infrastructure and new architecture making a meaningful contribution to the public life of Hastings.” Jonathan Tuckey, director of Jonathan Tuckey Design