Located at the shore head of the 1.34-mile Victorian pier, the new pavilion will provide a year-around, all weather facility with retail and restaurant outlets and exhibition space, to encourage visitors and encourage them to stay longer in the town. Flexible education space is also proposed for local interest groups.
The concept for the pavilion has been designed to complement the rich heritage of the pier whilst capturing views in all directions across the Thames Estuary. Proposals also include a unified lighting design and illuminations scheme.
The design will also ensure the protection of the unique maritime habitat, with materials robust enough to withstand the elements in a coastal environment.
Originally constructed in 1830 from timber, Southend Pier is an internationally recognised symbol of the town. The present iron pier was first opened in 1889 and has survived fires, boat crashes and two World Wars, as well as evolving to meet the trends of the passing decades. The site of the new pavilion will be the wide, open deck that formally housed a bowling alley before this was devastated by fire in 1995. The regeneration of the pier will help ensure its long-term survival, and will support Southend-on-Sea’s ambition to become the cultural hub of the Essex Thames Gateway.
Cllr Ann Holland, Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism and the Economy at Southend Council, said: “The pier is undoubtedly the jewel in Southend’s crown and is a symbol of immense pride among the town’s 180,000 residents and 6 million annual visitors.
“Despite the litany of fires and crashes over its 187-year history, the Council has remained committed to maintaining and restoring the pier.
“Follow our condition-survey of the pier last year, which confirmed the structure was safe to build upon, I’m delighted that we are now able to appoint ADP to bring forward designs for this new pavilion, which will generate new jobs, boost the local visitor economy and bring fun back to the pier.”
Liz Jarrett, ADP London Studio Director said: "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. This delivery of this project will build upon our successful relationship with Southend Borough Council following the successful delivery of the award winning Forum civic centre."