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The De La Warr Pavilion

Architect: John McAslan + Partners

Client: The De La Warr Pavilion

Project completion: 2005


The De La Warr Pavilion, commissioned in the 1930s by Bexhill’s socialist mayor as a People’s Palace, had fallen into disrepair and was largely unloved by the 1980s when a campaign group was set up with the aim of reclaiming the former glories of this modernist icon.  


The project involved meticulous restoration of the building’s external fabric and internal finishes as well as application to the Arts Council and Heritage Lottery Fund for the remodelling of the auditorium, the installation of new facilities including a gallery and restaurant, and the construction of two new wings housing performance and rehearsal facilities.


The transformed pavilion reopened in 2007 and has since been the catalyst for regeneration in the town of Bexhill-on-Sea and beyond.  


David Bonnett Associates became involved in the project at the behest of the Heritage Lottery Fund and provided strategic as well as detailed advice on access issues, liaising with English Heritage and local conservation authorities to ensure that the potentially conflicting demands of the Grade 1 listed heritage fabric were resolved to the satisfaction of all.  

The pavilion is now a magnet for visitors from the UK and overseas as well as for the local community many of whom, having retired to Bexhill, particularly enjoy the accessibility of the transformed centre.

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