Tricorn Centre

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Coordinates: 50°48.155′N 001°05.402′W / 50.802583°N 1.090033°W / 50.802583; -1.090033

The Tricorn Centre was a famed Brutalist shopping, apartment, nightclub and car park complex in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. It was designed by Owen Luder and Rodney Gordon[1] and took its name from the site's shape which from the air resembled a Tricorne hat. Constructed in the mid-1960s, it was demolished in 2004. It was home to one of the first Virgin Megastores and housed the largest Laser Quest arena in Europe.

The centre was a well-known example of 1960s architecture, and in the 1980s it was voted the 3rd ugliest building in the UK.[citation needed] In 2001, BBC Radio 4 listeners voted it the most hated building in the UK, although it was much admired by others, who saw it as an irreplaceable example of Brutalist architecture. Demolition of the Tricorn began on 24 March 2004 and lasted approximately nine months.

Contents

Early years

Opened in 1966, the centre was an attempt to revitalise Portsmouth, costing the city council £2 million.[2] Originally called the Casbah by its creators, it was deliberately designed with vast amounts of blank surfaces on the idea that tenants would provide the color and character via their signage and store frontages. It was hoped that premium stores would occupy the centre but as the centre was not connected to Portsmouth Town Centre, these stores never moved in. Instead the units were let to smaller stores.[3] As well as small traders, tenants included a supermarket and two pubs.[3] In 1967 the received a commendation from the Civic Trust.[4]

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