Just across the Tyne Bridge in Gateshead stands the iconic concrete structure of the Trinity Centre Multi-Storey Car Park. Designed by Owen Luder, it is a prime example of Brutalist architecture. The structure has a prominent role in the 1971 film Get Carter, and is often referred to informally as the "Get Carter Car Park"
Designed in 1962 when Brutalism was regarded as the cutting edge of architecture. By the time that it opened in 1969 interest in the movement had begun to decline. The building's raw concrete weathered poorly and by the time Get Carter was filmed the following year, the car park had already become an emblem for decline.
The car park has seven tiers of parking decks. These are raised above the adjoining shopping centre by a "forest" of piloti columns. The decks on the north face have a slight curve creating a wave effect. There are two supporting towers containing stair access. Each level of car park is therefore uninterrupted so that when viewed from a distance the sky is visible through the structure. A cafe unit in a contrasting box structure sits above the top tier of the car park connected to the access towers by an expressed glazed 'bridge' and an open walkway. The cafe has large windows providing views across the Tyne Valley.
The developer was E.Alec Colman Investments Ltd who had also used Luder for their Tricorn Centre and construction was by the firm of Robert McAlpine. The car park was commissioned as part of the redevelopment of the established market square of Gateshead's town centre and hence is also referred to as the Inner Market Car Park. However the landscaping ultimately created an exposed and unattractive shopping precinct on two levels with poor access. While construction of the car park was in progress subsidence was noticed due to mineworkings. Additional work to reinforce the foundations and structure meant that the car park opened two years later than the centre. At the same time nearby Newcastle upon Tyne had begun the covered Eldon Square Shopping Centre and this further undermined the development. The roof top cafe failed to find a tenant and was deemed unsafe and never opened.
Text taken from Trinity Centre Multi-Storey Car Park - Wikipedia
Edit: Curtains for car park. The controversial car park that has dominated the Tyneside skyline for the past four decades will be consigned to history by the end of the year.
Gateshead's infamous Get Carter car park will be knocked down, along with a massive swathe of the town centre to make way for a new shopping and leisure complex fit for the 21st Century
Mike Hodges: A concrete monstrosity, but it was perfect for my film
Trinity Centre Multi-Storey Car Park - Wikipedia
Internet Movie Database - Get Carter (1971)
Get Carter Tour. Locations from the original film set on Tyneside with some of compared to modern day photos of the same area.
BBC - Hollywood on Tyne - Get Carter
Gateshead Car Park. Features an interior photo of the rooftop cafe.
Sylvester Stallone Joins Storm Over Carter Carpark
'Get Carter' fans campaign to save car park
Risky Buildings - Trinity Square, Gateshead
Bid to save 'Get Carter' car park
xlab - Gateshead Car Park. An interesting set of comments on the building.
Take a virtual tour of the multi-storey car park
Get Carter Quotes
Closure date for Carter car park