Hastings Pier

dRMM, Hastings, 2016

 

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Creative use of timber is at the heart of the transformed pier design 

Jim Stephenson     Download Original

  • Creative use of timber is at the heart of the transformed pier design    
  • A glass-walled, open-air room enjoys views of town and coast and beyond, over the sea towards Europe    
  • The visitor centre hosts an adaptable space for indoor events, exhibitions and local school activities    
  • The regeneration of the pier was led by spirited locals    
  • The experience of being surrounded by sea and ‘walking on water’ is heightened visually by the louvred balustrade design and the quality of the timber deck    
  • The pier is once again an extension of Hastings Promenade but it is now a public, free and open space    
  • Most of the funding came from the Heritage Lottery Fund     
  • Reclaimed timber was used for deck furniture designed by dRMM with Hastings & Bexhill Wood Recycling as a local employment initiative     
  • The new visitor centre is a CLT structure clad in the limited timber decking that survived the 2010 fire    
  • The design incorporates local material; the rebuild used local firms and labour    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor and first floor plans    
  • Roof level plan    
  • Visitor centre section    
  • Section BB    
  • East elevation    
  • West elevation    
  • The pier under construction    
  • Post-fire remains – major structural work needed    
  • Pre-fire clutter – over-developed and unused    
  • Future phases of the project    
  • Temporary installations – cinema, markets and circus    
  • Temporary installations – concert and amusements    
  • Flexible space – permanent visitor centre and restaurant    
  • Development sketch of bench detail    
  • Detail of glass handrail and bench    
  • Development sketch of typical window jamb detail    

After the original structure was largely destroyed by fire, its replacement is kickstarting the seaside town’s regeneration.

dRMM’s concept for the pier was not to create the predictable ‘iconic’ hero building at the end, but instead to provide open, serviced ‘empty’ space to allow free access and activity. The priority was creating a strong platform to support variety; from circuses to music, fishing to markets. Different users bring their own temporary architecture. Lorries can traverse the 280m deck to set up temporary structures for larger events; small local trading beach huts have arrived.

A central structure was required to house some account of the pier’s history, but de Rijke wanted to avoid ‘a generic visitor centre as a museum of the pier’. The result was ‘The Deck’ a simple, rectangular structure, clad in recovered wood. It provides two flexible function spaces (the Memories Room and the Birch Room), a café and a shop. Large windows can be opened via hinged panels, and the showpiece is a concertina window in the Birch Room that looks out to the end of the pier.

Touch screens and exhibits on miniature, pier-like steel frames allow for an exploration of the pier’s turbulent past as well as the opportunity for visitors to add to a ‘Digital Memory’ – an online oral and pictorial archive of the pier. At the pier’s edge, small panels on the balustrade continue this history-telling. 

Creative use of timber is at the heart of the transformed pier design. The new visitor centre is a CLT structure clad in the limited timber decking that survived the 2010 fire. The reclaimed timber was also used for deck furniture designed by dRMM with Hastings & Bexhill Wood Recycling as a local employment initiative. The visitor centre hosts an adaptable space for indoor events, exhibitions and local school activities, with an elevated belvedere on top. Here a glass-walled, open-air room enjoys views of town and coast and beyond, over the sea towards Europe.

Data

  • Begun: Jan 2014
  • Completed: Jun 2016
  • Floor area: 11,720m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £14.2M
  • Procurement: Construction management, with Hastings Pier Charity as manager of different JCT Intermediate and minor works contracts
  • CO2 Emissions: 23.8kg/m2/year
  • Address: 1-10 White Rock, Hastings, TN34 1JU, United Kingdom

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