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De La Warr Pavilion

This project, developed and completed in phases across a period of 15 years, has restored and transformed Mendelsohn and Chermayeff's degraded 1935 Grade I listed Modernist icon into a cultural centre that can be sustained well into the 21st century, and has been the catalyst for further regeneration in the town of Bexhill-on-Sea.

The practice was appointed in 1991 to prepare a strategy for the long-term phased restoration, remodelling,l and redevelopment of the De La Warr Pavilion.  We developed a strategic masterplan and business plan leading to the initial restoration of the building’s external fabric, pursuing extensive historical and architectural research to ensure the accuracy of reinstatements and replaced detailing.

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JMP was also closely involved in a successful application to the Arts Council Lottery Fund to complete the remaining phases of the project, with the first stage of this work - the remodelling of the auditorium - completed in early 2000.  In May 2002, the Pavilion Charitable Trust received a grant of £4.2 million from the Arts Council, and £1.9 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to complete the transformation of the building, which included a new gallery, restaurant, and two new wings housing performance and rehearsal facilities.

Throughout the project, the practice consulted closely with English Heritage, the Twentieth Century Society, Rother District Council and the Trust, helping to secure substantial funding from English Heritage and the European Commission Heritage Division.  The project, which required a mixture of accurate restoration of details and programming, discreetly modernized services, and appropriately designed newbuild sections, is now fully operational with the new wings completed in 2008.

Winner, The Coast Awards 2008, Best Seaside Landmark Building

Winner, Civic Trust Awards 2008

Winner, BURA Best Practice Regeneration 2008

Winner, RIBA Awards 2008, South East

Winner, European Commission Awards 1994, Preservation of European Architectural Heritage


  • Sector

    Culture, Conservation + Heritage

  • Location

    Bexhill-on-Sea, UK

  • Description


  • Client

    De La Warr Pavilion Trust

  • Size

    4,000 sqm

  • Cost


  • Team

    John McAslan + Partners, Architect
    F.J Samuely & Partners, Structural Engineer
    Rybka, M&E Engineer
    Maynard Mortimer & Gibbons, Cost Consultant

  • Status

    Completed 2008

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