Last year Welbeck Street Car Park designed by Michael Blampied & Partners in 1970 was sold to developers Shiva Hotels and since the sale it's future has been uncertain. In February this year I was asked by students of Goldsmith University to help them on a project they were making about this amazing car park. I was glad to help so on a cold winter's day we spent a few hours exploring the car park and I talked about why I loved this building so much and what draws me to photograph brutalist architecture.
While at the car park we saw signs saying the car park would be closing on the 13th March. So with only a month left of having access to the car park I started to plan a project to photograph it's last few days. On my first visit for this project I was then told it wasn't closing and might potential be open for another year!
I'm not sure if it will be open for that long, without the building being listed the Welbeck will be demolished at some point, the la…
Over the last few months I have been adding a few colleges in Cambridge to my Beautiful Brutalism project. Many new college buildings that were being built from the late 50's to 70's embraced contemporary architecture of concrete, steel and brick and many leading architects of the era were commissioned to design these new buildings. New Court, Christ's College and Fitzwilliam College by Denys Lasdun, George Thomson Building of Corpus Christi College by Philip Dowson of Arup and the History Faculty by James Stirling to name a few.
I photographed the two Lasdun designed buildings late last year. New Court, Christ's College, 1970, has an amazing steeped slope of the students rooms with a terrace running through the middle. The rooms all have large windows that allow light to flood in and the use of exposed reinforced concrete is beautiful.
Fitzwilliam College, 1964, has a very distinctive shell-vault like roof on the dining hall which is visible from the street outsid…
"In summary the existing car park building has no particular aesthetic or historic value, and detracts from the setting of nearby heritage assets by virtue of it's bland and uninspired elevational treatment"
KM Heritage Consultant 2017
The inevitable has happened and yesterday, Thursday 10th August, Westminster Council approved the demolition of Welbeck Street Car Park. Although it has been on the table for a long time it's such a shame that yet another stunning piece of brutalist architecture will be destroyed to make room for a bland, non-descript hotel with no particular aesthetic value. I still can't understand how Historic England and the heritage consultants used can't see it's aesthetic quality or structural ingenuity and therefore listing it so it might survive just a bit longer. It will be a great loss!
I have been shooting the last few months of it's life since March and hope to undertake a few more shoot…