Sunshine, Modernism and Sussex by the Sea – 23rd March 2023

A talk by Fred Gray.

During the 1930s a remarkable transformation occurred to the architecture and landscape of Sussex by the Sea. It was informed by a growing love of the sun and sunbathing, Modernism as an architectural inspiration, concrete slabs and steel frames and even the majesty of transatlantic liners. With form following function in everything from lidos to bathing costumes, and a focus on stripped-down, clean-lined structures, there was a rejection of the weary and restrictive seaside of the past. Apart from the iconic open-air pools, there were innovative entertainment pavilions, transformed seafronts, and diverse new buildings for living and playing by the sea. This talk explores the neglected history and geography of 1930s Modernism on Sussex by the Sea.

Apart from being the honorary historian of the West Pier Trust, Fred has a long-term interest in all things seaside and seaside architecture in particular. He is the author of Designing the Seaside: Architecture Society and Nature (Reaktion, 2006), Palm (Reaktion, 2018) and The Architecture of British Seaside Piers (Crowood, 2020).

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