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Penrose lists Pasmore's Apollo Pavilion

Architecture minister John Penorse has handed Victor Pasmore’s 1969 Apollo Pavilion sculpture in County Durham a Grade II* listing

The Brutalist artwork in Peterlee, which was restored two years ago after years of vandalism and neglect (see below), was designed as the centrepiece of a wider landscape plan joining the two sides of a housing estate in the new town.

Penrose said: ‘This is a striking example of how abstract art and Brutalist architecture can come together to make a building that is quite unique, and all the more so now that it has been rescued from dereliction in a highly successful project supported by lottery funding and driven by the commitment of local people.

The pavilion showed the bold optimism of those building the new town of Peterlee

He added: ‘Listing at Grade II* means that the Apollo has been recognised as being of more than special interest.  This doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed but it does mean that its status has to be taken proper account of if any development proposals come forward in the future.’

Nick Bridgland, designation team leader at English Heritage which had recommended it for listing, said: ’Named in homage of space exploration, the pavilion showed the bold optimism of those building the new town of Peterlee. 

‘Pasmore [was] one of Britain’s leading post-war artists and the pavilion is as much an abstract sculpture as it is a building, providing a focal point to the small park at the centre of the community. 

‘After decades of gradual decline, the restoration of the pavilion in 2009 has once again revealed its striking design.’

Previous story (AJ 13.07.2009)

Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion restored

The original features of a County Durham architectural structure designed to hail the moon-walk mission of 1969 have been restored after a £400,000 revamp

The official unveiling of the rejuvenated Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee took place on Sunday after a six-month programme of work.

The internationally-acknowledged public artwork was created by abstract artist Victor Pasmore, whose son John unveiled a commemorative plaque. He said: ‘I am delighted the pavilion has been restored to its original state and once again reflects my father’s vision.’

The artist, who died in 1988, was best known for his experimental housing in Peterlee in the early 1960s. He became involved with pavilion after the original architect withdrew. The restoration was funded by £336,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £65,000 from the former District of Easington Council, now Durham County Council.

It included reinstating a staircase to the upper level and restoring two original murals and lighting features.

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