Gatesheads Trinity Square car park (known by many as the Get Carter Car Park or Gateshead Multi Storey Car Park) was built from designs by Owen Luder (subsequently RIBA President) and opened in 1967, five years on from the drawing board. The building towers above Gateshead town centre (being the tallest building in the town centre by quite a margin). The car park is an example of the Brutalist style of architecture (raw exposed concrete defining the character of the building and its exterior). The top floor of the building featured a space for a cafe-bar with views of Gateshead and Newcastle however, it was never used. By the time the car park was constructed, its design was already out of date and unfashionable. Its outdoor shopping precinct quickly became outdated with shoppers preferring indoor precincts. Rather than becoming the centre of its community public opinion has called for its demolition (the building was listed in Britain"s top 10 worst buildings) and the car park is instead famous for the role it plays in the 1971 gangster movie "Get Carter". Following decades of deterioration the decision was made to demolish the car park structure, the indoor market that lies below and associated properties on High Street, Ellison Street and the adjacent Trinity Square, allowing for a new city centre development.
Following an extensive pre-tender interview process and a successful tender submission Thompsons were awarded the contract. The project follows on from other major Gateshead / Newcastle demolition projects undertaken by Thompsons, and which include Tyne Tees Television (made famous by the live music series The Tube), Westgate House (formerly listed as one of Britain"s top 10 worst buildings), Wellbar House, Eldon Square, City Library, Binns Department Store and the Majestic Ballrooms.
Works commenced with the removal of asbestos and the soft strip of fittings and fixtures of the shops located adjacent to the car park. Demolition works were phased and commenced with the reduction of the low level shops which surrounded the car park, along Ellison Street, Trinity Square and High Street. Demolitions progressed to the former in-door market which was located below the structure. Following completion of initial works demolitions will complete the reduction of the multi-storey car park structure itself. Thompsons newly acquired Komatsu 750 super high reach 360o excavator machine will assist our Caterpillar 350 high reach machine to demolish the car park, working top to bottom in a pre-determined sequence. Demolitions commenced at 9 am on 27/7/10 and will be captured by time lapse photography throughout.
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