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Victor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion: awarded Grade II-listed status

Date uploaded: February 1, 2012

Victor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion: awarded Grade II-listed status

The Apollo Pavilion, the centre-piece of Victor Pasmore’s involvement with the design of Peterlee, County Durham, has been awarded Grade II*-listed status. English Heritage and the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) granted the prestigious award on Thursday 15th December 2011.

Victor Pasmore's Apollo Pavilion, in the Sunny Blunts estate in Peterlee, was opened in 1969. The stucture marked the culmination of Pasmore’s work as consulting director of urban design with Peterlee development corporation. The Pavilion, named after the first moon landings, was described as an iconic example of 1960s public art but has always divided opinion.

Councillor Neil Foster Cabinet member for regeneration and economic development at Durham County Council, said: "The announcement of this listed status for the Apollo Pavilion gives the final seal of recognition to its importance both historically and culturally, not just in the local context of County Durham, but also in a wider national context. Modern art and architecture often divides public opinion, as is true in the case of the pavilion. However, every period produces masterpieces, iconic examples of the style, and the listing is an acknowledgement that the pavilion fits squarely into this category. The journey from its infamous past to the growing level of recognition it has now attained is on many levels a remarkable one. Though named after the Apollo moon landings which happened over 40 years ago, it is today that it has found its time and the people of Peterlee in particular can take pride in their Pavilion.”

The successful application for listed building status was submitted by the Apollo Pavilion Community Association (APCA) with assistance from members of The Twentieth Century Society. The Grade II* status now places the artwork, which is owned by Durham County Council, in the top 8% of all listed buildings, joining Middlesbrough’s Transporter Bridge, the London Coliseum and Eastbourne Pier. APCA works with the council to ensure the pavilion is used as a community hub for arts, education, culture and heritage events.

The Pavilion underwent major restoration and conservation in 2009, carried out by County Durham-based Burns Architects. Their work has already been honoured with a string of awards, including the Civic Trust Award in 2010 and RIBA Award 2011. The work was made possible thanks to a Heritage Lottery Grant awarded in 2008. 

David Taylor-Gooby, chair of the APCA, said: "This really is a great achievement for everybody who worked tirelessly to help secure the Pavilion's restoration but also a proud moment in the recent history of Peterlee as a town. We now have something which has achieved national recognition, and which we should celebrate. The Apollo Pavilion’s restoration was due to the efforts of people who believed in Peterlee and wanted to do something to make their town better. The Pavilion is not some obscure artefact but something we should be proud of as it is an icon of our town."

Visit www.apollopavilion.info/Pages/default.aspx

Apollo Pavillion, 1970

Apollo Pavillion, 1970