Southend Pier Cultural Centre

Southend Pier Cultural Centre


Architect: White arkitekter & Sprunt
Client: Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
Photographer: Luke Hayes

Despite a cash-strapped local council as client and the iconic nature of their brief’s subject, the architects have produced a remarkable sculptural object sitting at the end of the Grade II listed pier. While strikingly modern, the new building is essentially a pavilion in the tradition of Victorian pier architecture. Its folded, faceted form is determined partly by the steel structure required to spread the building’s load evenly over the pier’s 100 year old cast iron piles.

The building is clad in materials chosen to withstand the hostile marine environment. Fibreglass rainscreen wall panels give the building a pale glossy appearance that catches the light. At low level, reclaimed timber decking is used to create the impression of a plinth growing out of the pier.

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