De La Warre Pavillion - Bexhill-on-Sea, UK

Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff
Date Built
Construction began March 1935 - Opened December 12, 1935
Seafront in Bexhill-on-Sea
The building was constructed out of concrete and steel and it features large windows and cantilevered balconies.   It took 8 months to build at a cost of £80,000.  The building was intended to be a cultural centre for Bexhill and for a while was.  It featured a 1000 seat auditorium and a lecture hall hosting concerts, exhibitions and talks.  Apparently the flat roof was used for deck-games. 

War broke out four years after the building opened and it was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence.  It suffered bomb damage in 1940 and after the war it was patched up and retured to its former role.  In the following decades the pavillion underwent internal changes to reflect trends in design and suffered from underfunding resulting in a gradual deterioration. 

In 1986 it was granted Grade 1 Listed status and three years later the Pavilion Trust was set up to protect and restore the building.  However, that process was a long time in happening.  It wasn't until 2002 that it acquired £6million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to make the restoration a reality.  Work started in 2004 and the restored buiding opened to the public in October 2005.  The Guardian reported the event as follows: "At noon today this Modern Movement building reopens after a £8m restoration to the tune of Sea Tongue, a specially commissioned choral work by Orlando Gough involving 200 local singers, ballroom dancers, four grand pianos, five speakers, percussionist Giles Perring, and The Shout, a 15-strong professional choir. ....  The restoration, shaped by John McAslan and Partners, reveals one of the largest contemporary art galleries in south-east England, a 1,000-seat auditorium, and a terraced restaurant. The first large-scale lightweight welded steel-framed building in England, the pavilion has been restored with funding from the Council England, Rother district council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and a range of individuals and businesses."

Below an exhibition of Anthony Gormley's sculptures on the roof of the pavilion in the summer of 2010.

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