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De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea

596 of 1170 nominations


De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea

Is this an icon?


De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea

When the De La Warr Pavilion first opened in December 1935, Professor Charles Reilly wrote in the Architects’ Journal: “The straightforward spaciousness of the interiors, and the great spiral stairs gracefully mounting in their glass cylinders, are things we have all dreamed about, but none of us have done on their scale or with their sureness of touch." And George Bernard Shaw pronounced himself “delighted to hear that Bexhill has emerged from barbarism at last”.

The Pavilion was the first public building in England to be built in the Modernist style and was one of the most talked-about buildings of its day. Commissioned by the 9th Earl De La Warr, it was the work of one of Europe’s finest architects, Erich Mendelsohn, a refugee from Nazi Germany, and a Russian interior designer and former ballroom dancer, Serge Chermayeff.

Reopened in October 2005 after an £8 million restoration, the Grade I listed building now houses one of the largest contemporary art galleries in the south-east.

Photo: Briget Smith


Your comments

The first steel-framed building in the UK. The foremost example of the International Style in the UK. Grade 1 listed.

Peter Seed

The Pavillion is certainly an icon of England - a glorious shell filled with the unambitious and outdated, trading on it's history with little regard for it's future. A little hard work, and it could be great again.
Chris Long



I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye