A modern block of flats on Worthing seafront has been named the best new building in Britain.
The Bayside Apartments on Brighton Road were named overall winner in the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust Building Beauty Awards
The award came with £12,000 for architects Allies and Morrison, who designed the block for Roffey Homes.
The judges said: “This is an impressive exercise in using local references to create an original and powerful landmark – a worthy replacement for the depressing 1960s swimming pool that previously occupied the site and which, ironically, turned its back on the sea.
“It sits literally beachside and forms an exclamation mark that balances the horizontal mass of the pier. At the same time, it bookends the seafront terraces of Regency Worthing, harmonising with their white stucco while steering clear of weak historicism.
“Its location at the point of transition between the Regency town and later development gives it a particular job to do: this is often the point at which close-grained townscape peters out into dispiriting ribbon development. Bayside mitigates that by holding out the promise of a place worth visiting.
“Seen from the distant pier, it announces itself as a destination – not aggressively, but as a complement to the historic town. At close quarters, the sinuous balconies offer visual variety and even a maritime reflection, but in a disciplined way.
“Sometimes seaside buildings can be over-literal in their references, with clodhopping detailing in the shape of waves and prows. Here it is done evocatively but subtly.
“Viewed obliquely, the sea-facing elevation is wonderfully playful, but seen full-frontal from the beach it is rigorous and devoid of frippery.”
Sir Ben Okri presented the 2023 awards at Sea Containers, London SE1 on 10 November.