Modernist is one of the most important architecture philosophy or style in 20th century. It is led by Walter Gropius (1883-1969) and Le Corbusier (1887-1965) and had a significant impact in British after the World War Two (Architecture.com, 2018). Modern architects believed that mechanized building is more fit the social than traditional building. It probably was, when the major serious issue in a country is the crucial need of housing, efficient and cost friendly might more important than traditional visual enjoyment (Fazio et al., 2013).
Newcastle central plan
Like what we mentioned previously, Newcastle upon Tyne and surrounding area were targeted by air force because of the heavy industry (ships and armaments production) during the World War Two (Smith, 2018). After that, Newcastle city council published a series of plans to regenerate the city by integrating the history city grain into the twentieth century (Something Concrete + Modern, 2018) and the core of that called Newcastle Central Development Plan.
The focus of the central plan could be summarized as a motorway system assistant by pedestrian street in the sky with a central avenue with services. It aimed to avoid the damage from traffic and encourage social communities by the connected elevated walkways.
Meanwhile, the central plan also worked on the public facilities like museums, library, government buildings. However, modernize experienced a significant declined in the 1980s and many of constructions have been demolished. For example, the Bank of England in Grey Street and the Newcastle City Library. (for more information click the name).
The advance production of technologies and ideas in old days seem like an ugly monster. Prince Charles described the flourishing of Brutalism as concrete showered down (Doyle and Burgess, 2015). Plus, Anthony Daniel declares that Brutalist architecture is a “spiritual, intellectual, and moral deformity” (Dalrymaple, 2009).
Controversy, I would argue that the use of concrete and glass could show the power of pure and they could remind public the ethics and politics of the war. Therefore, it is fortunate that some projects in that ear still survived until now. I would briefly introduce two projects and we could probably see how they keep on functionally and increasing the diversity of architecture in Newcastle.
Manors Car Park
Manors car park is the first multi-storey car park in Newcastle. It is a part of the Central East Motorway Plan (1963) and the finish of it marked the beginning of the car domination modernization plan. The site of the car park nearby the Manors train station and Manors metro station and a footbridge connected that part with the Newcastle city centre.However, this pedestrian viaduct did not bring prosperity to the region as expected but the car park still works. Therefore, in the last decade, the city council still working on regenerate the east part.
Newcastle Civic Centre
Newcastle civic centre is located in Barras Bridge, Haymarket area. It designed by city architect, George Kenyon in 1950s and completed in 1967. The building integrates a various artwork which varies from mythological characters to modern abstract art. The most famous sculpture might be the Tyne God who represents the importance of Tyne river for residents and local culture.
Architecture.com. (2018). Modernism: an architectural style guide. [online] Available at: https://architecture.com/knowledge-and-resources/knowledge-landing-page/modernism [Accessed 1 Apr. 2018].
Dalrymaple, T. (2009) ‘The Architect as Totalitarian’, City Journey, [online] (Autumn 2009). Available from: https://www.city-journal.org/html/architect-totalitarian-13246.html [Accessed 11th April 2017].
Doyle, R. and Burgess, A. (2015) Atlas Obscura [online], Available from: http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-brutal-beauty-of-concrete-buildings [Accessed 28th March 2017].
Fazio, M., Moffett, M. and Wodehouse, L. (2013), A World History of Architecture [3rd ed.], London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd.
Skyscrapercity.com. (2018). Bank of England, Pilgrim Street – Demolition | Newcastle | 4fl | Completed – SkyscraperCity. [online] Available at: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1482279 [Accessed 2 Apr. 2018].
Smith, A. (2018). A Shipbuilding Target – Newcastle And Tyneside in World War Two | Culture24. [online] Culture24.org.uk. Available at: http://www.culture24.org.uk/history-and-heritage/military-history/world-war-two/tra27968 [Accessed 1 Apr. 2018].
Something Concrete + Modern. (2018). Newcastle Central Development Plan – Something Concrete + Modern. [online] Available at: https://www.somethingconcreteandmodern.co.uk/building/newcastle-central-development-plan/ [Accessed 1 Apr. 2018].
Something Concrete + Modern. (2018). Newcastle City Library – Something Concrete + Modern. [online] Available at: https://www.somethingconcreteandmodern.co.uk/building/newcastle-city-library/ [Accessed 2 Apr. 2018].