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Kate Jordan argues that prize winning Hastings Pier is a tangible glimpse of an optimistic future where local communities and councils collaborate with the best designers to produce a new kind of heritage, relevant to our time. 

If the Stirling Prize is a barometer of prevailing winds in architecture then last year’s winner, Hastings Pier, suggests a sober outlook. This stark, timber structure, designed to replace the original Victorian pier, which was destroyed by fire in 2010, is far cry from the ‘starchitect’ designed winners of previous years. Indeed, it would be hard to find more contrasting buildings than Hastings Pier and Foster's ‘Gherkin’ which picked up the prize in 2004. If the high production values of early 2000’s prize-winners trumpeted economic confidence and rejoiced in cutting-edge technology, what does the decidedly low-tech, plain-speaking Hastings Pier tell us about the current climate? And what does it say about the changing role of the architect?

...continue reading "Hastings Pier: so much more than a disappointed bridge*"

Nicola Westbury is an architect and Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings scholar who specialises in historic buildings conservation.

Gabriella Misuriello is the Churches Conservation Trust Project Manager for the South East. She is a building engineer specialising in heritage conservation.

They have been closely involved in the recent skilful repair of two ancient Sussex churches: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Warminghurst and St. Botolphs near Steyning. Nicola & Gabriella discussed the particular problems that such repair work involves and give us an insight in to caring for such fine buildings.' 

This event will be followed by a coach tour of Sussex churches on 28 April.

Image shows the interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Warminghurst