This film is part of Free

An Architect's Model of Hove Town Centre

This model effort shows an architect's vision for the rebuilding of Hove Town Hall - in the style known as Brutalist

Amateur film 1968 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This novel film features a scaled diorama that gives a vision of the proposed redevelopment of Hove Town Hall – to be built in the New Brutalist style, fashionable at the time in architectural circles. Using model cars, trees and figures, we can see how the new building complex will interact with the surrounding built environment. Interestingly, the image of generously wide 'boulevards' bears little relationship to the actual roads around the complex.

The redevelopment of Hove's Town Hall was made necessary by the destruction of its Victorian Gothic predecessor in a disastrous fire in 1966. Opened in 1882, the previous building was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, who also designed Manchester Town Hall and the Natural History Museum in London. Its replacement was designed by the Brighton born architect, John Wells-Thorpe. Completed in 1970 in the New Brutalist style, it too suffered a fire in 2015 due to an electrical fault, though this was contained. The year before an application to English Heritage to have the building listed as a rare example of Brighton & Hove's post-war architecture, failed.