Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, by Hat Projects

Despite a long and controversial journey to completion, Hat Projects’ understated Jerwood Gallery is finally settling in with its Hastings seafront neighbours
In 2008 the Jerwood Gallery was burned to the ground.
As flames licked around its doric columns and clouds of smoke billowed above its pediment, crowds of local onlookers cheered and munched their toffee-apples with glee. It was just another bonfire night in Hastings, a town that has a long history of burning things it doesn’t agree with.
The effigy of the gallery joined the illustrious company of the Pope and Gaddafi, who had both graced the pyre in previous years, as well as a papier-mache hamburger in response to foot and mouth, and a gigantic model of a wheelie bin — set ablaze in opposition to a new council waste management system.
“The people of Hastings have a fantastic track record of stopping projects they don’t like,” says Hana Loftus of Hat Projects, the architect of the controversial new gallery that opened this month. “The community here really is incredible — they care so passionately about the place.”
So passionately, in fact, that a vociferous minority tried everything in their powers to entirely halt the development — an £8 million masterplan for a new public space, community hall, café and public toilets, of which the £4 million, privately funded Jerwood Gallery was the driving force.
Read the full article here.
Originally published in BD, 28 March, 2012