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Riviera Hotel

A Grade II Listed Building in Preston, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6364 / 50°38'10"N

Longitude: -2.4182 / 2°25'5"W

OS Eastings: 370521

OS Northings: 81935

OS Grid: SY705819

Mapcode National: GBR PZ.HM2W

Mapcode Global: FRA 57TD.9Q6

Entry Name: Riviera Hotel

Listing Date: 28 January 1997

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1135188

English Heritage Legacy ID: 467299

Location: Weymouth and Portland, Dorset, DT3

County: Dorset

District: Weymouth and Portland

Town: Weymouth and Portland

Electoral Ward/Division: Preston

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Preston with Sutton Poyntz St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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Listing Text


873-1/3/32 (South side)
28/01/97 Riviera Hotel


Hotel. 1937, by L Stewart Smith. Reinforced concrete, using
the Mouchel/Hennebique system, undertaken by Truscon Ltd.
Rendered, asphaltic flat roofs.
PLAN: a symmetrical building with central administration and
amenities block, including large dining room and kitchens
complex with tower flanked by 2 long arcs of bedrooms on 2
storeys; originally this area included the dance floor but a
later (c1960) ballroom has been attached behind the S wing,
and the original entrance has to the W a later small 1-storey
flat-roofed office addition sympathetic to the original
EXTERIOR: slender square tower has a recessed panel to each
face, with a 'keystone' above RIVIERA inscribed vertically on
the panel. Below this the reception block has to each side of
wide glazed entrance doors and panels 4 large arched casements
with radial heads, set behind the added small block with 3
steel casements to the front and 2 on the S return. Large
glazed doors give access in the re-entrant on the N side.
To each side is a 2-arched section brought forward from the
continous arcs of bedrooms in 29 bays; of these the outer 11
bays in each case embrace 2 floors, with set-back decorative
'Spanish' balcony railings above the floor slab which is also
recessed. The inner 18 bays have arches at each level, with a
deep continuous spandrel registering the floor slab as a
projecting string course, and simple railings at the upper
level. The plain square dividing piers have a plinth approx 1m
The balcony promenade, stepped slightly at the change in outer
detail, and on a single step at the ground floor, is backed by
a wall with 2- and 3-light steel casements in a complex rhythm
alternating with 6-panel doors with raised mouldings. A
concrete staircase at bay 11 from each end, and external steel
staircases at the outer ends. The rear wall to the arcs is
completely plain, with a simple cornice band.
HISTORICAL NOTE: this building epitomises the austere approach
of the modernists in the immediate pre-war era, and suggests
the designer's acquaintance with contemporary work in Rome and
elsewhere. The dining and dance hall, approx 24m x 12m, had a
clear span, effected by using a 'diagrid' concrete ceiling
structure. The cost was approximately ยป40,000, including

fittings. The report of 20 February 1937 in the 'Southern
Times', shortly before the hotel was due to be opened, also
refers to a concrete pier '... to be built in the cove.'
The building has a commanding site overlooking the whole of
Weymouth Bay, and, with the exception of the ballroom, retains
the purity of its original conception in the landscape.

Listing NGR: SY7052181935

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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