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Rye Film Festival

De La Warr Pavilion - The Building

The building is recognised as the perfect expression of the Modern movement in 1930s Britain. The pavilion – housing entertainment and conference halls functions rooms, a library and a terrace restaurant – was completed in 1935. It was the first public building in Britain designed and built on International Style principles, an inspiration for the Royal Festival Hall, London (http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk) and one of the few surviving buildings designed by Mendelsohn. "The interior is truly music", as the Earl said to the architect during the final stages of the De La Warr’s construction.

After the Second World War the pavilion fell into disrepair, its render crumbling, its metal crushed from the salty sea air and covered in scaffolding.

In early 1990s the architect John McAslan started its restoration. The pavilion faced problems both of serious physical decay and of adaptation to changing ideas of entertainment and leisure. To secure the funds needed to repair and regenerate the building, its perceived role had to change, from that of a local amenity to a regional arts centre, attracting audiences from a wide stretch of the south coast and its hinterland.

The chosen solution for the restoration was to construct a separate wing to the north, linked to the Pavilion at basement level, congruent in style but now a pastiche of the 1930s.

The pavilion is a Grade 1 Listed Building in the UK Government scheme for protecting important buildings.
 

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