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Archive - Thursday, 31 July 2003
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Conran to restore landmark
Embassy Court, the notorious eyesore landmark on Brighton seafront, is in line for a £5 million makeover led by design guru Sir Terence Conran.
Long-standing residents of the dilapidated block have formed a company called Bluestorm with responsibility for maintenance and appointed Conran and Partners to lead a restoration team.
The Grade II* building has been in a sorry state for many years as a long-running dispute over ownership and maintenance funds rumbles on.
But today Bluestorm decided Sir Terence's architectural design practice is the right one to revive the crumbling block.
Sir Terence said the time was right to bring its 20 years of experience in revitalising historic buildings to the project.
He added: "We are delighted to be involved in a building I have known and loved for many years.
"It is in a terrible state but we are confident Bluestorm has put together a very strong team and we will work extremely hard with them to give Brighton back this landmark."
Conran director Paul Zara said: "Embassy Court is perfectly salvageable and we are looking forward to the challenge. Although it is currently in a very poor state, recent reports have shown the concrete structure is in better condition that we expected.
"We want to find ways for the public to enjoy Brighton's best 20th Century building."
Sir Terence is also involved in restoring the former Argus building in Robert Street. It is being converted into loft-style apartments.
Bluestorm was set up five years ago by owner-occupiers of Embassy Court. Chairman Emma Jinks said: "There is a very bright future for Embassy Court."
Simon Fanshawe, who chairs the city's Economic Partnership, said: "For a long time Embassy Court has faded to an embarrassment. Now Bluestorm deserve everyone's congratulations for making it once again a modern jewel in our Regency crown."
Embassy Court was designed by Canadian architect Wells-Coates in 1935 and is one of the most significant modernist buildings in Britain.
It boasted the first penthouse apartments in the country plus its own restaurant, rooftop sundecks and film star residents.