Access times to upper deck of the Apollo Pavilion
The gate on the Apollo Pavilion allowing public access to the structures upper deck will from this time forward be open daily from 8.00am – 3.30pm all year round. If you have special reason to wish to gain access to the upper deck outside of these times please contact the Chair of the Apollo Pavilion Community Association:
Chair: David Taylor-Gooby
Tel: 0191 5870008 or 07793 114037
We were all immensely saddened to hear of the untimely and unexpected death of David Jacques. David had been a regular attendee at our meetings, and was closely in touch with what was happening in the area round the Pavilion. He was always ready with pithy comments and common sense. He had very useful local contacts, and was able to arrange meeting places for us. He was also active in local politics, and knew all about what was happening in the Town Council.
His son Dean is our very efficient secretary, and the two between them helped with all our internet needs.
I have known David for a long time. In fact I taught him when I first came to Peterlee, and his Dad had a shop in Fulwell Road. He set up his own computer repair business which was well-regarded in the town, and was a well-known local character.
His death was totally unexpected and we are all very shocked and saddened. All our thoughts must be with Dean at this difficult and distressing time, when everyone else is looking forward to celebrating Christmas.
David Taylor-Gooby, Chair APCA
An Experiment In Total Environment: Toby Paterson and Victor Pasmore
DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery
Saturday 1 December 2012 – Sunday 3 March 2013
What happens when a New Town is no longer new?
This exhibition, part of the Peterlee New Town: An Experiment in Total Environment, examines the fascinating yet flawed legacy of a uniquely daring piece of post-war urban design. It looks at Peterlee beyond the Apollo Pavilion by collecting a carefully selected group of Pasmore’s works from the period when he was actively designing the town and displaying them alongside an expansive installation of new work by Glasgow-based artist Toby Paterson.
The exhibition encourages a fresh view of this unique environment, considering it as a mature landscape with innate visual and spatial interest that has endured economic difficulties and neglect. Whereas the abstract imagery of Pasmore’s work parallels the development of his design philosophy, Paterson takes a subjective position on the results and explores present day Peterlee, finding architectural value in a town ripe for reappraisal.
Education Programme – Exhibition of student work
In Gallery 2 is a showcase for the work of local young people created during the first year of the associated education programme, showing how they have begun to navigate, describe, record and celebrate their built environment.
Students and staff from Peterlee College, St Bedes RC Comprehensive School and The Academy at Shotton Hall chose the work on display and the exhibition was created by Northern Architecture in association with Northern Print
In Gallery 3 John Topping illuminates a virtual model of Victor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion by mapping the relative position of the sun as it passes over the Pavilion. Realtimelapse confronts us with a representation that sets out to question how we decipher “reality”.
Saturday 8 December, 1pm
Modern Art in Peterlee – Sam Gathercole in conversation with Toby Paterson
Art critic and historian Sam Gathercole will be joined by artist Toby Paterson for a free ranging discussion covering topics from Victor Pasmore’s radical design experiments in the south west area of Peterlee New Town to Toby’s own practice of engagement with the built environment.
Free event (normal admission costs to DLI apply). No booking required.
Supported by: Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Durham County Council, Northern Architecture, Northern Print
Peterlee New Town: An Experiment In Total Environment
This is an intensive learning and education programme devised by the APCA in partnership with Durham County Council’s Arts Team now about to start its second year.
The project involves a commission from a major British artist, Toby Paterson, to be shown at Durham Art Gallery, together with a comprehensive workshop programme for students at East Durham College, St Bedes RC Comprehensive School and the Academy at Shotton Hall.
Toby Paterson has exhibited extensively throughout the world including solo exhibitions in Glasgow, London, Paris and Turin. Paterson’s work investigates modernist design by isolating elements of minimalist structures or using them as sculptural reliefs. In 2002 he won the Beck’s Futures Prize and a number of paintings from this period featured direct visual references to Peterlee and to the Apollo Pavilion in particular.
The workshop programme, delivered by Northern Architecture, explores the history, design and character of the south-west area of Peterlee New Town, which includes the Apollo Pavilion, from its inception to the present day.
Throughout year one of the project, Northern Architecture delivered 20 creative sessions and worked with over 140 pupils and students. The programme made direct links to a range of National Curriculum subjects at Key stages 3 & 4 and beyond, including Art & Design, Citizenship, Geography and Design Technology, with teachers being supported to use the Apollo Pavilion and the local built environment as a teaching resource.
In addition creative practitioners RealTyne have delivered workshops in the use of digital design tools and Mimosa Wireless an introductory session on creating an information app.
Each pupil involved in the programme will have work represented in the gallery space adjacent to the Toby Paterson/Victor Pasmore exhibition at Durham Art Gallery in December 2012.
Toby Paterson will also produce permanent works for the interiors of the schools and college involved in the education programme, providing a lasting legacy for the project.
Supported by: Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Durham County Council, Northern Architecture
Listed building status
English Heritage and the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) announced on Thursday 15th December 2011 that Victor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion has been granted the prestigious award of Grade II* listed building status.
Grade II* status now places the Pavilion in the top 8% of all listed buildings, joining the likes of Middlesbrough’s Transporter Bridge, the London Coliseum and Eastbourne Pier.
The successful application for listed building status was submitted by the Apollo Pavilion Community Association (APCA) with assistance from John and Karen Topping, who are also the North East regional representatives for The Twentieth Century Society.
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.”
The restoration and conservation of the building by County Durham-based Burns Architects has already been honoured with a string of awards, including the Civic Trust Award in 2010 and RIBA Award earlier this year. The work was made possible thanks to a Heritage Lottery Grant awarded in 2008.
Cllr 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.”
My Apollo by Michael Dunn
My Apollo is an animated sequence of drawings that have been collaborated to create a moving piece of artwork which captures the audience and guides them on an emotional journey in and around Victor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion.
As a third year architecture student, I was asked to create a personal project over my summer break. Thinking about how I would respond to this, I began thinking about important structures in my life. The first building that came to mind was the Apollo Pavilion. I have lived in Peterlee for 20 years and seen the Pavilion at its worst and now, at its finest. This animation is representative of the first time I actually went to the top of the Pavilion and I attempted to convey the emotions this invoked. Michael Dunn.
2011 RIBA Awards
The Apollo Pavilion is one of just four projects in the North East to receive an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for excellence in architecture.
Colin Robson, Durham County Council Arts Officer, said:
“The pavilion has been a source of much debate in the past but this project has not just breathed new life into the structure, it has also seen it once again embraced by the local community.
“This latest award recognises the architectural quality and sensitivity of the work carried out as well as the positive impact on the surroundings, all of which has been influenced by the views of the residents.”
This is the fifth award the project to restore the Apollo Pavilion has collected since the capital refurbishments were completed in July 2009. In 2010, the Apollo Pavilion was one of 26 projects from across the UK and Ireland to receive an equally prestigious Civic Trust Award. The project was also awarded a commendation at the Building Excellence Awards North East and picked up two prizes at the 2010 Durham Environment Awards.
Launch of Friends
The Apollo Pavilion Community Association has formed the Friends of the Apollo Pavilion so that everyone who loves Victor Pasmore’s creation can play a part in sustaining its well-being and ensuring that it remains prominent in the public eye.
“Victor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion at Peterlee was a pioneering work which has stood the test of time. Pasmore’s vision for a more humane environment in the post-war world is one with which we can still identify. Pasmore saw the pavilion as a focal point in the community and I strongly support the work of the Friends’ Association in realising his ambition”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Director Tate Gallery
For further information go to the Friends of the Apollo Pavilion page.
Civic Trust Award 2010
The Apollo Pavilion is one of 26 projects from across the United Kingdom and Ireland to this year receive the prestigious Civic Trust Award.
The honour given to Durham County Council, the design team of Burns Architects, RNJ Construction Consultants, DTA Consulting Engineers and contractor Makers Freyssinet follows the work undertaken to repair and reinstate the structure’s original features and rejuvenate the surrounding park area.
The award, which was announced at a ceremony at St George’s Hall in Liverpool on Friday, 12 March, recognises the cultural, social and economic benefits of the scheme and its outstanding contribution to the quality and appearance of the environment.
Colin Robson, Durham County Council Arts Officer, said: “Receiving the award is a fantastic honour and we are extremely proud.
“It’s an acknowledgement not just of the physical improvements to the structure but also of the efforts by the council and the Apollo Pavilion Community Association to involve residents throughout the process and engage with young people through the education programme.”
Constructing Excellence North East Award
The Pavilion won a prestigious Constructing Excellence North East Award at a Gala Evening at Newcastle’s Marriott Hotel on Friday 7 May 2010.
With 74 entries over 13 categories the project won the Highly Commended Heritage Award sponsored by English Heritage.
Tony Burns, Principal of Burns Architects said;
“The CENE Award not only recognises the high conservation standards of the restoration of the Pavilion, but also the endeavours of local people to deliver a successful public project.”
The judges were particularly impressed with the conservation approach and the enthusiasm of the project team.
Durham Environment Awards
The restoration of the Apollo Pavilion picked up two honours at the Durham Environment Awards at the Gala Theatre in Durham on Monday 24 May.
The project received the Craftsmanship Award in acknowledgement of the exceptional work undertaken in repairing the concrete faces of the Pavilion.
The project also received a Community Partnership Award sponsored by Groundwork presented to representatives of the Apollo Pavilion Community Association and Durham County Council’s Arts Team.