Succesful Cultural Centre lift

A new 350 sq m cultural centre commissioned by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and designed by White arkitekter, working in partnership with London based architects Sprunt, was succesfully craned onto Southend Pier this Thursday.

The 170 tonne structure was hoisted onto the pier head at high tide using a 400-tonne marine sheer leg crane.

The new cultural centre is the first structure added to the pier head since 2000 when a new lifeboat station was added. Sited at the far end of the pier, the challenge of this project has been building onto a listed and fragile structure in an offshore environment. White arkitekter’s design, ‘Sculpted by Wind and Wave’, the winning entry of an international competition in 2009, responds to the conditions of the site and represents a radical deviation from the traditional Victorian architecture of the town. Its sweeping geometric form and harmonising palette of materials celebrate the topography of the windswept site to integrate it into the scenic landscape. The dynamic roof shape, which measures 9 metres at its highest point will house a large multi-purpose hall with floor to ceiling glazed elevations offering spectacular views out to the Thames Estuary.

Following the competition win White teamed up with UK practice Sprunt to oversee the development of the design. White have worked with structural engineers Price & Myers from the outset to overcome the technical challenges presented by the site and to bring their vision to reality. All three partners have worked closely to maintain the integrity of the original concept with onsite pile testing undertaken to ensure the pier will withstand the weight of the new building.

Southend Pier Head, Southend-on-Sea

Southend Pier Head, Southend-on-Sea

Southend Pier Head, Southend-on-Sea

Photo: Tim Lucas.

More news:
Southend Pier’s new £3m building lifted into place (BBC News)
Southend Pier gets a new £3m Cultural Centre (Southend-on-Sea Borough Council)
Cultural centre lifted into position on Southend Pier (ITV News)