BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Friday, 18 March, 2005, 14:27 GMT
'Iconic' Byker Wall designer dies
The Byker Wall
The Byker Wall has collected a number of design awards
The architect of a controversial but internationally renowned housing estate on Tyneside has died, it has been reported from his home in Sweden.

Ralph Erskine, who was born in Britain, but later moved to Sweden, died in Stockholm on Wednesday aged 91.

In the 1970s he designed the Byker Wall, a colourful block of flats which replaced demolished terraced houses.

His other notable works include the Ark in Hammersmith, London, and the wood and glass Aula Magna in Stockholm.

The Byker Wall was much-ridiculed at the time, but has since gone on to win a number of awards.

'Social regeneration'

Councillor Peter Arnold, leader of Newcastle City Council said: "Ralph Erskine was one of the 20th Century's greatest architects and in Newcastle's Byker estate he gave the city one of Europe's finest post Second World War new housing communities.

"His approach was so different to everything happening around that time as he put the focus on social regeneration and the interests of local people, rather than just bricks and mortar. He built Byker Wall Estate around the community."

Now, two areas around the site have been earmarked for development, and five architectural and environmental designers have been shortlisted to follow in Erskine's footsteps.

Jo Boaden, director of Bridging NewcastleGateshead said: "We were saddened to hear about Ralph Erskine's death.

"His work on the redevelopment of Byker and the building of the iconic Byker Wall was one of the first attempts to bring the community and architecture together.

"We hope his principles of community involvement and innovative design continue."

Estate to get listed status
29 Aug 03 |  Tyne

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific