Apollo Pavilion, on the Sunny Blunts Estate, was intended to lift the urban housing community on to a universal plane
Apollo Pavilion, Sunny Blunts Estate,
Built under the 1946 New Towns Act, Peterlee was the only post-war new town requested by the inhabitants of the area themselves through their MP and was meant to provide modern housing and services for the mining and rural communities of East Durham. The original scheme by Berthold Lubetkin, based on tower blocks, was considered unsuitable to the geology of the area; he was replaced by George Grenfell Baines, whose programme of quick building often resulted in poor quality construction.
The design team for landscaping was headed by British abstract art pioneer Victor Pasmore, whose Apollo Pavilion, in the Sunny Blunts estate, references in its name the contemporary Apollo Space Programme. Passmore described this work as ‘… an architecture and sculpture of purely abstract form through which to walk, in which to linger and on which to play, a free and anonymous monument which, because of its independence, can lift the activity and psychology of an urban housing community on to a universal plane.’ After a long period of neglect, the pavilion was restored in 2009 and is now grade II* listed.