The Shock of the Newness
It’s amazing how an 85 year old building can look so modern, so contemporary, so now yet of its time. Vast swathes of void, bold expanses of solid, and that epic bow window bulging seaward combine to form one forceful architectural statement. Architects Erich Mendelsohn + Serge Chermayeff won a design competition championed by the 9th Earl de la Warr, Bexhill-on-Sea’s Mayor in the 1930s. It was on engineer Felix Samuely’s advice that the frame was changed from concrete to become the first welded steel public building in Britain. Not only is the structure groundbreaking; so is the architecture. De La Warr Pavilion is one of the highlights of early International Modernism. Unsurprisingly, the building is Listed Grade I.