Ramboll. Hastings Pier. Image: Daniel Shearing
As well as the main prize, the pier also secured the public vote with an overwhelming 42% voting for the pier as their favourite from this year's shortlist.
The project is a success story in so many ways. Built in the 1870s, it reached its prime in the 1930s and then again in the 1960s as it became a popular music venue. Following devastating storms in the 1990’s and a fire in 2010, the future of Hastings Pier seemed desolate. However the late Jeremy Birch, then leader of Hastings Council was determined that the pier had a viable future, and played a significant role in the recent restoration. Momentum gathered and local devotion saw the funds raised to secure the future of this much loved pier. Local fundraising, combined with a lottery grant, other grants, as well as “buy a plank” and similar initiatives, raised the £14.2m Hastings Pier Charity needed. The goal was to provide a pier with the facilities to meet the changing demands of a seaside town, and with the flexibility to generate income sufficient to maintain it for future generations.
The RIBA Stirling Prize is judged against a range of criteria including design vision; innovation and originality; capacity to stimulate, engage and delight occupants and visitors; accessibility and sustainability; how fit the building is for its purpose and the level of client satisfaction. The project certainly lives up to all of this. At 272m long, the pier features its sole remaining building, carefully conserved and adapted into a restaurant plus a new visitor centre called ‘The Deck’. The pier has been designed to be adaptable to host a multitude of events to create memories for all those who visit it, including: gigs, community displays, a circus and more, helping to secure its long term financial future.
Ramboll worked alongside the project’s Stirling Prize winning architect dRMM who designed the pier and cost consultants PT Projects, Hastings Pier Charity and a number of contractors including FPE, to ensure the vision for Hastings Pier was successfully delivered. Ramboll's work on the pier began in 2006, providing the structural engineering for the repairs to the pier and for the design of the Visitor Centre as well as technical input on heritage, conservation, M&E, marine, ground, fire and façade engineering and environment and ecology consultancy.
Reacting to winning the Prize and the public vote, Ramboll project manager Jackie Heath for Hastings Pier said: “We are just so delighted to see this project recognised by the RIBA judges and the public. Piers can bring so much to a community, it was reward enough to see the future of the pier secured, but to win the Stirling Prize and the public's vote, is further testament to how important piers are to our British identity”.
The much loved Victorian pleasure pier at Hastings has risen like a phoenix following decades of abuse, thanks to a group of local people and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Ramboll played a key role in the restoration and regeneration of Hastings Pier, offering strategic advice to both the Pier Trust and Hastings Borough Council.