A Consultation for all the Community

Join Hastings Commons alongside architects IF_DO and Purcell on the 25th March for a community consultation regarding the future of two wonderful buildings in the White Rock area. Both buildings – Eagle House (27-29 Cambridge Road) and 12 Claremont – are currently owned by Hastings Commons and are now ready for the next stage of their renovations with support from the Towns Fund.

Local people are invited to share their thoughts on the intended uses of these two historic buildings and become more involved with the spaces in the future. Have a look round, find out what’s happening, bring your ideas and see how you can be part of it.

12 Claremont was built in 1870 and is a fine heritage building that was the first local home for the Parsons empire in the form of a bookbinding and engraving studio. Later the building had a variety of mixed uses including the town’s first telephone exchange, a venue for meetings and community events, and auction rooms. Eagle House is also a historic building, built in 1867, and used as a furniture shop from 1904.  Currently, the ground floor of the building is home to the Common Room – a welcoming public living room space that is open to everyone from all walks of life.

New leases of life for two buildings

Hastings Commons will be working with their partners Project Art Works and heritage architects Purcell to transform the currently derelict 12 Claremont into a thriving creative hub. Work will be done to restore the original features of the building, along with creating artist workspace, respite accommodation and a Changing Places facility to enable neurodiverse artists and their support teams to access space in the town centre. There are also plans to create short-term overnight sleeping spaces for those coming to Hastings to learn about and get involved in community led regeneration.

Eagle House will also be getting a facelift, and Hastings Commons and architects IF_DO will be looking to the community to shape the future of the building. Current plans include protecting and improving the successful public living room for all, as well as developing the space into a universal youth club. Local charity Xtrax will be moving into the first floor soon to create a youth work hub. There is also the possibility of improving the frontage onto Cambridge Road, including the adjacent bus shelter.

Kit Godfrey, Deputy General Manager of Hastings Commons, says “I’m really excited to work on both projects which have been in development for years. There are too many neglected and underused buildings in the heart of our town, so the reward will be in seeing each populated with a variety of users from all backgrounds and walks of life.”

Both buildings will be open 11 am – 3pm on Saturday 25th March. The public are encouraged to drop in throughout these times to speak to the Hasting Commons, IF_DO and Purcell teams. There will also be team talks happening at both buildings – 11.30am in Eagle House and 2.30pm in 12 Claremont.

About IF_DO

IF_DO is a multi award-winning RIBA chartered architecture practice based in Bermondsey, London. Established in 2014 by Al Scott, Sarah Castle and Thomas Bryans, IF_DO is dedicated to creating projects with a positive impact on users, the environment and the surrounding community. IF_DO adopt a collaborative and explorative approach that draws on their collective experiences and interests. For every scale of project, IF_DO always seek to deliver broader social and environmental benefits through their design— working with their clients to make their projects do more. IF_DO has a track record of delivering award winning projects that bring measurable benefits to the communities that they are situated within.

Find out more at: https://www.ifdo.co/

About Purcell

Purcell are a leading practice of Architects, Masterplanners & Heritage Consultants, ranked number 16 in the Architects Journal Top 100 list of largest UK registered practices in 2021. Founded in 1947, Purcell are the largest UK practice working in the field of conservation, heritage and cultural buildings. They are the four times winners of the renowned Europa Nostra International Conservation Award for Cultural Heritage, including the only UK winners of the 2019 Award. They are a practice which works at the highest professional levels of design and conservation excellence on historic buildings of exceptional historic importance and sensitivity, with strong relationships with relevant bodies including Historic England. Using their thorough understanding of a site’s context, fabric condition and heritage value to inform what must remain and what can change, Purcell collaboratively engage with clients, communities, and craftspeople to transform admired buildings and places for the benefit of tomorrow.

Find out more at: https://www.purcelluk.com/