REVEALED: Winning pier sculpture will pay tribute to pier fire


A twisting flame to be made from steel and damaged two pence coins reclaimed from Eastbourne Pier fire has been chosen as the dramatic design for a new seafront sculpture.

Eastbourne Borough Council has announced that George King Architects’ Forged by Flame concept is the winner of its competition to create a piece of public art marking the community’s overwhelming support for the pier following the fire two years ago.



In their entry, designers described the damaged coins as a ‘symbol of rebirth and renewal’, having been destroyed in the fire but now taking on a new life as part of a sculpture to remember and reflect on it.

Councillor Margaret Bannister, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure Services, said, “This is a thoughtful design and using the two pence pieces was a popular idea that echoes the journey the pier has experienced since the fire.

“As awful as that day was, it was very heartening to see the town pull together and the pier reopen just two months later. This sculpture will be a fitting tribute to the rallying spirit of residents and businesses in the aftermath, and we look forward to the artwork becoming a focal point on our award-winning seafront area.”

Forged by Flame was among four shortlisted entries which included a series of seagull silhouettes, a bell and weather vane in the form of a Phoenix.

George Kings Architects will receive £20,000 to create and install their artwork, out of a £2 million Government grant to promote tourism in Eastbourne pledged by former Prime Minister David Cameron following the fire.

George King, Director and Founder of George King Architects, said: “We are so pleased to have been given the opportunity to create this wonderful sculpture for Eastbourne’s seafront. We hope Forged by Flame will provide a point of reflection for the community and mark the beginning of the next chapter in the story of the iconic Eastbourne Pier.”

The sculpture will be positioned in a prominent and suitable location on the seafront by summer 2017.

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