Press release

Penrose protects ‘Pasmore’s Pavilion’ in Peterlee with Grade II* Listing

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Apollo Pavilion, designed by the internationally-renowned artist Victor Pasmore, has been awarded Grade II* status.

The Apollo Pavilion, designed by the internationally-renowned artist Victor Pasmore, has been awarded Grade II* status by Heritage Minister John Penrose.  Following advice from English Heritage, the structure known as ‘Pasmore’s Pavilion’ in Peterlee will now take its place in the top five per cent of all listed buildings in England.

The pavilion was completed in 1969 as the centrepiece of a wider landscape, joining the two sides of a housing estate in the new town of Peterlee.  It was subject to much vandalism and neglect in the late seventies and eighties and came close to being demolished, before being refurbished back to its original state thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Commenting on the building, Mr Penrose said:

This is a striking example of how abstract art and ‘brutalist’ architecture can come together to make a building that is quite unique, and all the more so now that it has been rescued from dereliction in a highly successful project supported by Lottery funding and driven by the commitment of local people.

Listing at Grade II* means that the Apollo has been recognised as being of more than special interest.  This doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed but it does mean that its status has to be taken proper account of if any development proposals come forward in the future.

Nick Bridgland, Designation Team Leader at English Heritage, said: 

English Heritage is delighted that the Minister has agreed with our recommendation and has listed the Apollo Pavilion at Peterlee at Grade II*.  Named in homage of space exploration, the pavilion showed the bold optimism of those building the new town of Peterlee.  Designed by Victor Pasmore, one of Britain’s leading post-War artists, the pavilion is as much an abstract sculpture as it is a building, providing a focal point to the small park at the centre of the community.  After decades of gradual decline, the restoration of the pavilion in 2009 has once again revealed its striking design.

Notes to Editors

Copies of the English Heritage inspector’s detailed report and recommendation are available from Ellen Harrison in the English Heritage press office on 020 7973 3295.

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