Sussex is a county renowned for its striking architecture, from the Art Deco style prevalent in Brighton and surrounding coastal towns, to historic buildings across the countryside. When the iconic Saltdean Lido reopened in the summer of 2017, it reignited the county’s – and the country’s – affection for Sussex architecture. Below are just a few of our favourite landmarks.
Since this was the landmark that sparked our thinking, it seems like the natural place to start. Saltdean Lido is a classic example of true Art Deco style. This phenomenon of the ‘20s and ‘30s is all about clean lines, geometric shapes and a satisfying sense of symmetry. Inspired by California’s coastline, Saltdean Lido was intended to truly capture the British seaside tradition – with an added touch of glamour! Having been rescued by Saltdean’s residents and restored to a functional pool, we’re glad this landmark has regained its status as the centrepiece of the seafront.
No piece about Sussex’s iconic architecture would be complete without a reference to Brighton Pavilion. Built as a seaside pleasure palace, with inspiration taken from Chinese styles, the Pavilion has enjoyed a colourful history since its completion in 1823. Aside from its magnificent addition to Brighton’s skyline and scenery, the Royal Pavilion is also a testament to the latest architectural technology of the day. Built with lighting, heating and sanitation in mind, the Pavilion was remarkably ahead of its time.
Hastings Pier was given a new lease of life when reconstruction of its badly burnt superstructure began in 2013. 125,000 manhours were used to restore the iconic pier to its former glory and the results have been incredible. Another landmark to be saved by residents, the pier now boasts sustainability and strength, allowing it to become a hub for the Hastings community.
Arundel Castle holds over 1,000 years of history in its walls and many of its features have been standing since 1070. Having been owned by a number of notable families, the castle was handed down to female descendants from 1138 onwards. Restored in 1900, Arundel Castle was one of the first English country houses to boast electric lighting, service lifts and central heating. Now visitors are wowed by the spectacular masonry and interiors, as well as the stunning view from the town of Arundel itself.
Situated in the heart of West Sussex, Chichester Cathedral has formed a central hub for travellers and pilgrims for over 900 years. A Grade I listed building, the Cathedral has undergone some major restoration works over the years, not least the continued maintenance of its iconic medieval roof. Supported largely by the original timber structure and constructed from copper, the roof has been described as one of “the least spoiled and most important roofs in the kingdom”.
The Amex Stadium
As a more modern feature of Sussex’s architectural skyline, nothing can compare to the home of Brighton and Hove Albion FC. The Amex is located in Falmer, next to the South Downs, and this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was the perfect inspiration for the architects. Set in the rolling hills, the stadium’s curved roof and cladding mirror the natural backdrop.