The British architectural firm, dRMM, has just won the RIBA Stirling Prize for 2017. Winning the prize came after a heated competition with big names like Baynes and Mitchell Architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Michael Laird Architects, Reiach & Hall Architects, Groupwork + Amin Taha, and 6a Architects.
The winning project of dRMM was the revamp of Hastings Pier. “Hastings Pier is a masterpiece in regeneration and inspiration. The architects and local community have transformed a neglected wreck into a stunning, flexible new pier to delight and inspire visitors and local people alike,” commented Ben Derbyshire- RIBA President and Stirling Prize jury chair.
The pier was renovated so that it would be “a strong, well-serviced platform that could support endless uses,”.
The project has entirely altered Hastings’ waterfront. It became an enticing place for events and concerts after long years of neglect since it has been ruined in a fire seven years ago.
“There was no sense in trying to reconstruct it as a 19th-century pier – that typology had gone with the fire. There was an opportunity to reuse and reinvent the pier and give it a new future,” explained dRMM Founding Director, Alex de Rijke.
The new design took inspiration from the Plug and Play Architecture of the conceptualism advocate, Cedric Price. The flexibility of the Pier was one of the top priorities of dRMM so that the public can use it freely as they please.
“For many, the fact the pier is still standing is special enough; but what makes this pier unique is the decision not to populate the space with permanent attractions,” RIBA declared in a press release.
On the same day, Hastings Pier was the proud winner of the People’s Choice Awards by collecting 42% of the votes.
During the Prize ceremony, RIBA presented other national awards for the year 2017. The awards are as follows:
Stephen Lawrence Prize:
The award pays homage to Stephen Lawrence, who was a black UK citizen killed in a racial attack. His dream was to be an architect, but he was murdered in 1993 when he was only 19.
The award was established in 1998 and is dedicated to small-budget projects – projects worth less than £1 million.
Client of the Year:
The Prize is funded by the Bloxham Charitable Trust. It is dedicated to emphasizing the crucial contribution of exemplary clients in shaping great architecture.