Opened on 16 September 1967 on the site of the old Bedford Hotel, this was the first major new hotel development in Brighton for over half a century. Designed by one of the stars of British brutalism, Richard Seifert, the 17-storey block includes a 127-room hotel and the private flats of Bedford Towers. At 168 feet tall, it can’t be missed amongst the 19th century hotels along the sea-front.
Seifert gets his own chapter in John Grindrod’s book Concretopia, that begins:
Arguably the biggest impact on the British skyline in the whole postwar period was made by a controversial, art-loving, Swiss-born architect who hid behind his round-framed spectacles – a tirelessly mercurial figure who even changed his name and nationality along the way […] a curious figure, born Reubin Seifert, who fearlessly took our skyline and inserted into it some of our most notable, ambitious and controversial buildings.
The building looks in decent condition and was receiving further maintenance with new windows being fitted into the already patched-up balconies. Because of its position on the prom (and between the town centre and the sea) it remains a bold statement of the mid-century optimism as Britain was re-building, and while it isn’t quite as striking as Seifert’s NLA Tower in Croydon, it’s easy to see the lineage.