Monthly Archives: October 2017

Britain’s Top Architecture Prize Awarded to dRMM’s Hastings Pier - 31-10-2017


Hastings Pier, a major community-led regeneration project designed by dRMM Architects, has won the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize.

Reinventing traditional pier design, Hastings Pier provides an open space, able to support a variety of events and uses from circuses to music events, fishing to markets.

The pier also received the RIBA People’s Vote, and was named 2017 Pier of the Year by the National Piers Society.

Professor Alex de Rijke, dRMM co-founder and architect directing the project said, “We were delighted to work with Hastings Pier Charity on this ambitious project which, literally a ‘Phoenix from the ashes’, was realised through dedicated community action and strong support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

Hastings Pier was owned by an offshore company when it was destroyed by fire in 2010. After the local authority acquired the ruin, the pier ownership was transferred to Hastings Pier Charity with over 3,000 shareholders following a successful crowdsourcing campaign.

Maria Ludkin, chair of Hastings Pier Charity said, “To have our pier recognised at the very highest level is an extraordinary achievement – this award belongs to the people of Hastings and St Leonards who came together to save this historic landmark and made it a beacon of a town’s regeneration.”

Judges of the RIBA Awards remarked, “It has taken a seven-year heroic collaboration to turn a smouldering pier in disrepair and decline into a vibrant public space with a palpable sense of ownership. This collaboration has been between the community, the council, the engineers and the architect, and it is the architect’s vision which has been vital throughout to steer the process.”

dRMM was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2010 with Clapham Manor Primary School, and again in 2016 for Trafalgar Place housing.

De Rijke said the Hastings Pier design exemplifies the studio’s collaborative and lateral approach to architecture, “creating places that inspire, that are innovative but popular and socially useful. In design, sometimes all you need is less…”

The Stirling Prize is awarded by the RIBA in recognition of the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year.

Sadie Morgan, founding director of dRMM said, “It’s been a privilege for us to be a part of this extraordinary journey. The success of the Hastings Pier project is down to the many people, and the outcome; greater than the sum of its parts. The hard work and dedication of all of us here this evening is manifest in the spirit and enthusiasm with which the towns of Hastings and St Leonard’s have taken this project to their hearts.”

“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.” Andy Puncher, director, pH+

“The choice of achieving something regenerative lies within us all, and for that dRMM must be celebrated and thanked.” J-J Lorraine, co-founder, Morrow + Lorraine

“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.” Jonathan Tuckey, director of Jonathan Tuckey Design

The Stirling Prize People’s Vote Goes to Hastings Pier - 30-10-2017

hastings concertwebHastings Pier has won the Stirling Prize people’s vote with an overwhelming percentage of support.

RIBA, in conjunction with the BBC, invited the public to vote for their favourite building from the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist. The result of the poll is:

Barretts Grove: 9%
The British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre 10%
City of Glasgow College – City Campus: 13%
Command of the Oceans: 14%
Hastings Pier: 42%
Photography Studio: 12%

Hastings Pier, fondly known as the ‘People’s Pier’ was designed by dRMM Architects and informed by years of close consultation with the local community – many of whom are now part owners in the pier.

Read more about the project here.

The public vote has no bearing on the RIBA Stirling Prize which is decided by a panel of judges. The winner will be announced on the BBC News channel at 8.30pm, 31 October 2017.

Watch the BBC’s films of the shortlisted projects here.






Maggie’s Oldham recognised for timber innovation and excellence - 26-10-2017


dRMM are recognised as pioneers of engineered timber architecture and construction. The studio and project team received four accolades at the Structural Timber Awards for Maggie’s Oldham, the first engineered hardwood building in the world.

The prizes celebrate innovation and excellence in timber structures across the United Kingdom. Maggie’s Oldham won Healthcare Project of the Year and Contractor of the Year (Parkinson), and received a high commendation in two more categories; Architect of the Year (dRMM) and Engineer of the Year (Booth King).

Maggie’s Centres seek to provide ‘the architecture of hope’. They offer free practical and emotional support for people affected by cancer. Built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, the centres are safe and welcoming spaces. They lift the spirits and set the scene for people to draw on strengths they may not have realised they had in order to cope.

Maggie’s Oldham is the first engineered hardwood building in the world. It has a number of timber innovations including a tulipwood CLT structure and a fluted, thermally treated tulipwood cladding developed by dRMM. The tactile quality of the internal finish and the cladding make this wooden building very special.

The centre is an exemplar of healthcare architecture. The use of timber, quality of design, detail and finishes seek to rethink the nature of hospital buildings, offering a more human, warm and calming alternative. The imaginative design strategy of elevating the building has given the hospital a garden as well as a cancer care centre. The tree growing through the centre brings nature to the inside, and the view to the Pennines offers a sense of hope.

The project demonstrates how great things can be achieved through genuine collaboration. It has been a pleasure to work on and hopefully will offer inspiration and comfort to those with cancer and their family and friends for the future.

Maggie’s Oldham is shortlisted for the Wood Awards alongside Hastings Pier, to be announced on the 21 November 2017.


Alex de Rijke Presents Hastings pier at RIBA Stirling Stories - 13-10-2017


dRMM founding director, Professor Alex de Rijke presented the creative processes behind the Stirling Prize shortlisted Hastings Pier at the RIBA.

The architects shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2017 come together in a unique event to reveal the stories behind their buildings, the things that inspire them and what it would mean to win the UK’s most prestigious architecture prize.

This is the third time dRMM has been shortlisted for the prize which is described as one of the most prestigious awards of its kind in the world. The studio’s innovative learning environment, Clapham Manor Primary School, was shortlisted in 2010, then in 2016 the practice received its second shortlisting with Trafalgar Place, a residential development with an exemplar public realm.

The Stirling Prize will be announced on the 31 October 2017.

‘It’s about sky, light, the sound of the sea. It’s about making new from old – embodied memory and future identity.’ – Professor Alex de Rijke, dRMM founding director