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Reaction: dRMM wins the Stirling Prize with Hastings Pier

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Hastings Pier – the bookies’ favourite – has been named the best building in Britain this year. Here’s what you thought about dRMM’s victory

Carl Turner, founding director, Carl Turner Architects

‘It was impossible to call this year, but in the end community wins over craft and complexity. I’m delighted for the architects and the local community who backed the project from the outset, making it all the more special.

‘This project reminds us that we need places that inspire and delight beyond just the practical. It’s great also for the humble British seaside and its renaissance.’

Alistair Barr of Barr Gazetas

‘British housing is in crisis and intelligent design is needed desperately. A better winner would have been Barrett’s Grove by Groupwork + Amin Taha.

‘Their scheme proves that good housing can fill functional needs whilst providing pleasure and sense of place. All this was achieved with low costs and a low carbon footprint. The scheme deserved to win and should be discussed more to galvanise our housing experts into more inspiring schemes.’

Very happy with tonight’s result, @daisyfroud. @clickclickjim reporting (almost) live from the #Stirlingprize

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J-J Lorraine, co-founder, Morrow + Lorraine

‘The emptiness of dRMM’s Hastings Pier makes it the ideal choice for a post-Brexit Stirling Prize winner, where nothing seems certain and everything could change. It might yet come to bear flags for a national mood of introspection, parochialism and insularity, an enormous cultural cul-de-sac into the Channel. The valiant crowdfunding effort which helped pay for its construction may, however, galvanise an alternative idea: the beginning of a something, the start of a bridge maybe, a springboard to something better.

’The crinkle-cut reclaimed timber cladding taut with expectancy knows this, the raked seating watching the sea knows this and Alex De Rijke and his accomplished collaborators know this. The choice of achieving something regenerative lies within us all, and for that dRMM must be celebrated and thanked.’

Oliver Goodhall, co-founding partner, We Made That

‘At last some good news on reaching out to our European friends. How many Hasting piers do we need to reach France? I’d encourage dRMM to keep on it… give them a Stirling prize for every 280m.’

Jonathan Tuckey, director of Jonathan Tuckey Design

’A lovely example of ”building on the built”, a collaboration of old infrastructure and new architecture making a meaningful contribution to the public life of Hastings.’

Michel Mossessian of Mossessian Architecture

’Wow! Well done, a great role model to make the uk coastline a destination again!’

David MacDonald, partner at SimpsonHaugh 

’dRMM’s reinvention of Hastings’ Victorian pier as a flexible event venue is a simple but pragmatic solution.

’It consigns the tired “kiss me quick” seaside entertainment to the past and creates a public space that can invite the community to reimagine and take ownership of their pier. Hopefully the curating and management of the pier will let this opportunity flourish.’

Heinz Richardson, director at Jestico + Whiles

’A worthy winner and refreshing to see community regeneration, sustainability and high-quality public space rewarded by the jury.’

Friedrich Ludewig, director, ACME

’Delighted to see dRMM and Hastings win, the entry I rooted for as the future of regional town like Hastings, Folkestone, and Swansea lies in taking their future into their own hands and creating spaces of opportunity that lie beyond easy commercial viability.’

Russell Potter, director, SODA

’Thoroughly deserved by dRMM and a victory for collaborative design at its very best. Also great to see the stellar work carried out by smaller practices represented on the list amongst the big players this year.’

Andy Puncher, director, pH+

Massive congratulations to DRMM for winning the Stirling Prize for this truly inspirational project. It is an exemplar to the power of the architect and architecture in helping to galvanise and manifest the true spirit of community and place. Outstanding.’

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Well done dRMM - craft meets funk to build a celebrated and highly owned space. Great also that the architecture is as popular with the locals as it is with architects. Steve McAdam/Fluid/Soundings

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  • It will be interesting to see how the re cycled timber weathers. In London it just goes black. And how will the large space be used? OK in summer, but in the winter? Looked great with the rising sun behind it, and Carol in the foreground on BBC Breakfast this morning. And all this new architect’s role? Pushing it thru and talking to client and end users? Isn’t that what architects usually do?

    Actually 4 if the short listed would be worthy winners. The Stoke Newington Flats look out of place, and a bit silly with odd bricks and wicker balconies. An outsize Lego house with Home made coffins bolted onto the sides?! Although the wicker does provide privacy to the users. Are they big enough for a table and chairs, or just for bikes and clothes drying?

    And does the Oceans thing have to be black? Very de rigour and tedious.

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  • Chris Roche

    A rare treat a popular building without being populist - and with a compelling public backstory.

    Chris Roche

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