Credit : Bridget Smith
Credit : Bridget Smith

Work Starts on South Staircase Window.

The extreme weather conditions and salty sea air are always a harsh environment for buildings, especially Grade One listed Modernist ones. The De La Warr Pavilion Charitable Trust has a proactive maintenance plan in place, which is managed by a sub-committee of the board, led by architect Sean Albuquerque. This committee monitor maintenance of the building, as well as looking at specific issues for which they commission specialist advise and expertise to ensure the long term conservation of the building.

This committee have recently been looking at some issues with the famous south staircase window. The challenging environment has caused the metal frame of the window to rust, which in turn has caused some of the curved window panes to crack.  The sea spray coupled with high winds has penetrated right into the frame structure, which in turn not only effects the window panes, but also the render around the frame.

Sean Albuquerque says  “The cracking in the windows of the south staircase is particularly worrying because this curved wall of glass is such an important aspect of the historic and architectural significance of the building.  As a result we are taking a step-by-step approach to this programme of repair, with the aim of ensuring that the work is kept to an absolute minimum.  This approach both conserves the maximum amount of original fabric as well as being more financially prudent.”

A number of specialists have been consulted, including Rupert Harris Conservation and  F J Samuely & Partners (who were the original structural engineers to the Pavilion) and we are just starting work on a test repair to one of the window panes and surrounding frame. The process will involve the boarding up of a ground floor section of the window to carry the repair. Once the pane has been removed, we can then assess the extent of the issue and continue with repairs as recommended. Once the process is complete we can then evaluate the process and plan repairs to other sections of the window.

The De La Warr Pavilion Charitable Trust is a not-for-profit registered charity, with core revenue funding from Rother District Council and Arts Council England. We are also reliant on commercial trading, fundraising and from the active support of our patrons & members, all of which helps to support the building and the programme that we deliver within it.

To find out more about how you can support our work please visit or call Vanda Curtis on 01424 229118.

Posted by Ryan Coleman on Thursday 18 April 2013