Southend-on-Sea’s iconic pleasure pier – the longest in the world – has had a rocky history. The original pavilion at the shore head burned down in 1959; a bowling alley that replaced it met a similar fate in 1995. The Council now want to build a new pavilion on the site, and appointed us to design it.
As with any culturally significant site, our design needed to respect the pavilion’s context while boldly announcing a new chapter in the pier’s history. We also considered how the attraction could contribute to the wider town’s regeneration, and provide a sustainable resource for the local community.
We designed the pavilion as a building which could both support Southend and sustain itself financially. Visitors will be able to browse high-quality retail outlets, enjoy a range of food and drink, and linger in exhibition spaces – making the pavilion not only a gateway to the pier, but a destination in its own right.
In laying out the concept for the pavilion, we came to the Council with a number of options, assessing and developing them together.
The agreed choice is a modern reinterpretation of the Victorian pier pavilion, with its curved roof echoing the original’s wrought iron structure.
The project is a major part of the Council’s ambition to make Southend-on-Sea the cultural hub of the Thames Gateway. We hope that it will be the setting for many joyful memories visiting one of England’s most iconic seaside destinations.
“ADP is delighted to be taking forward the design of a third-generation pavilion on the world famous Southend Pier. The two previous pavilions were both lost to fires, and this project is a further step forward in Southend’s regeneration strategy, as part of the Thames Gateway.”– LIZ JARRETT, PROJECT DIRECTOR