The 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize has been awarded to the recently regenerated Hastings Pier on the coast of South East England.
Despite the traditional association with Victorians promenading along the seafront, London-based architectural firm de Rijke Marsh Morgan Architects brought Hastings’ previously-dilapidated and forgotten pier firmly into the 21st century.
Hastings pier had suffered years of sea erosion and, in 2010, a fire destroyed the entire structure. When tasked with rebuilding the iconic pier, dRMM decided against replicating the Victorian design and instead focussed on providing an open, modern space that could be used for events, local market and more, creating a coastal hub for the community and reinventing the traditional pier.
dRMM’s regeneration of the pier used a successful crowdsourcing campaign to transfer ownership of the structure to the Hastings Pier Charity with over 3,000 shareholders, firmly instilling a sense of community-ownership in the project.
Further showing the sensitive way the architects handled the project is how they recycled resources that survived the fire, such as the timber cladding now visible in the visitor centre.
The Stirling Prize is awarded by RIBA to celebrate the building that has made the most notable contribution to British architecture in the previous year. Judges from the RIBA panel described the pier as ‘a collaboration between community, council, engineers and architect’, while Hastings Pier Charity thanked dRMM for making the pier ‘a beacon of a town’s regeneration’ and saving a ‘historic landmark’.
To see more of this award-winning design, click here.