Hastings Pier wins 2017 Riba Stirling Prize

Hastings PierImage copyright RIBA
Image caption The restored structure was named Pier of the Year in April

A historic pier in East Sussex that was devastated by fire in 2010 has won a prestigious architecture award after a multi-million pound redevelopment.

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”.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The redevelopment took more than two years
Image copyright PA
Image caption It cost £14.2m to restore the pier

Other buildings shortlisted for this year’s 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.

Image copyright RIBA
Image caption The original pier closed in 2008 and was ravaged by fire in 2010

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.”

‘Inspiration’

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.

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