Gateshead Council is currently considering the demolition of the Trinity Square multi storey car park by architect Owen Luder in favour of a new shopping centre and car park on the same site.
The Twentieth Century Society would regret the loss of yet another witness of the great era of British brutalism. The car park was opened in 1969 and acquired cult status through its appearance in the gangster film ‘Get Carter’ (1971). Though not as sculptural as some of Luder’s other buildings, the car park is an important work of the period.
Over the past years the car park has been greatly neglected and left to dilapidation. Nevertheless the majority of the building is still used. The car park defines the centre of Gateshead and its expressive stair towers and the restaurant box on top of the building punctuate the skyline in an unforgettable way. It is paradoxical that the proposed scheme consists of yet another car park and a shopping mall of little architectural quality (DLG Architects, Leeds ).
The Society is disappointed to see that the council has not considered any solutions that incorporate the preservation of the car park. Demolition was granted in 1999. It seems like wasting a rare opportunity to not reopen the top floor restaurant, which allows for breathtaking views over Gateshead, and maintain a real hero of 1960s architecture.
For more information please contact: Cordula Zeidler, Caseworker, on 020 7250 3857 or cordula.zeidler(at)c20society.org.uk