Located at the edge of a conservation area and next to the Grade II* Listed Congress Theatre, Towner delivers the long term aspiration to define a distinctive cultural quarter in Eastbourne. It has been an incredibly successful new cultural space for Eastbourne and the South East region, attracting new and diverse audiences and international exhibitions, as well as enabling the entire Towner Art Collection to be fully accessible to the public for the first time.
The building maximises efficient use of the site by building up to the pavement perimeter to the west, exploiting the fine views, and allows the readily identifiable white walls to be articulated by the double curve of the site boundary. To the east, galleries are stacked vertically adjacent to the Congress, with links for multi-functional public use between the two buildings at every level.
Community spaces and meeting rooms are arranged over the top two floors alongside the art spaces and the cafe. Building views and axes feature strongly, for example, out through the triple height glazing to the spire across the tennis club to the north, or west from the 2nd Floor gallery through 4m glass doors and through the café terrace to Beachy Head. The north south axis which terminates in the large vertical windows reinforces the concept of the flexible 'Art Box',which is articulated in the north and south facades by the black zinc cladding.