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Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007, 10:03 GMT
Listed status for 'iconic' estate
Byker Wall
More than 9,000 people live on the estate
An iconic multi-coloured Tyneside housing estate has been given listed status by the government.

Newcastle's Byker Wall was built between 1969 and 1982 as a colourful array of flats to replace demolished terraced houses.

The Ralph Erskine-designed complex, which is home to 9,500 people, has been much-ridiculed, but has also won a number of awards.

City council bosses said the move ensured the site's future preservation.

The estate is a mix of houses, maisonettes and flats, built on 200 acres of land overlooking the River Tyne.

Social housing

The Byker Wall features three to 12-storey, wedge-shaped blocks, patterned brickwork, brightly coloured timber balconies and blue corrugated metal roofs.

Culture Minister David Larmy announced the estate would be granted Grade II listed status on Monday.

Newcastle City Council's deputy leader, David Faulkner, said: "The Byker estate with its iconic wall is internationally renowned as both a superb example of Ralph Erskine's architecture and as a leading example of social housing.

"To have this recognised with a listing status which will preserve its character for future generations, is very welcome indeed."

The estate has received many awards over its lifetime including a Civic Trust Award, the Eternit Award, the Ambrose Congreve Award for housing in 1980.

Ralph Erskine, who was born in Britain, but later moved to Sweden, died in Stockholm in 2005 aged 91.


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