The judges credited Towner as an iconic new landmark.

"The gentle seaside town of Eastbourne is an unlikely location for a slice of contemporary architecture. But the Towner, with its undulating white-rendered walls and views of the Sussex Downs, has already become an iconic landmark and a draw for tourists and locals alike. They have Rick Mather and his team to thank for creating the dramatic facade and gallery spaces, which house a vast collection of equally dramatic art."  

Sited next to the Grade II* listed Congress Theatre, Towner  brings a twenty-first century addition to Devonshire Park, strengthening its position as Eastbourne's cultural quarter.  The building provides a new home for the Towner Art Gallery collection, as well as conference exhibition space, community activity rooms, gallery and retail facilities and a cafe. The £8.6 million gallery incorporates full art storage for the Towner permanent collection which is designed to enable the public to view the Gallery's entire collection for the first time.

Now in their eighth year The British Design Awards, hosted by ELLE Decoration, highlight the best of innovative and original British contemporary design.

Details of the awards are featured in the December 09 issue of Elle Decoration magazine