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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*"

Above: Hangleton in 1958: Is this a type of housing development a use of land we can no longer afford?

2013

The town planning of the 19th and early 20th century could serve as inspiration for developments such as Toads Hole Valley in the 21st century, suggests David Robson ...continue reading "Look to the past for models of development in the future"