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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 March 2004, 13:58 GMT
R.I.P. Britain's Ugliest Building
THE TRICORN CENTRE has gone to meet the great wrecking ball in the sky.

Tricorn centre
Happier times
After a long period of decline, the concrete shopping centre and car park in Portsmouth is being demolished on Wednesday.

The centre, built in the "neo-brutalist" style popular 40 years ago, has provoked strong emotions over the years.

It topped a 2001 poll by Radio 4's Today programme to find the country's most hated building, with one listener describing it as "another 1960s consumer rat-maze". Prince Charles has likened it to "a mildewed lump of elephant droppings".

But in its early days, the Tricorn was much loved and it won design awards. Its architect, Owen Luder, has expressed dismay about its demise, saying that the Tricorn is a "gee whiz" building, not a "so what" monstrosity. Mr Luder, who also designed the multi-storey car park featured in Get Carter, says it is an architectural statement about a time of new ideas and economic explosion.

The end became inevitable this month when the government rejected the efforts of campaigners to have the building listed. Heritage minister Andrew McIntosh said "it does not possess the degree of special significance required for listing".

Among those awaiting the wreckers with barely-concealed glee is the local LibDem MP, Mike Hancock. "Common sense has prevailed in this matter and we can move as swiftly as possible now on to demolition."

No flowers.


Add your tribute using the form below:

A Tricorn haiku

Night falls on Tricorn -
Ugliness ends in rubble.
But what lurks, now planned?
Bob Almond, UK

The final chapter of the multi-storey.
Sam Holloway, UK

Eye-sorely miss you.
Howard M, Finland

Let Tricorns be bygones.
Alex, Manchester

A building best known as Tricorn
Is going, but why should we mourn?
It's been empty for years -
All those multiple tiers,
And Portsmouth can now be reborn.
Ed, Clacton

Park and deride.
Dan the Man

Goodbye to the concrete-bungle.
Neil, London, UK

A monument to discontent,
A landmark of the stark,
A dingy den of twisty stairs, all cold and damp and dark.

They meant it to be bold and strong,
They meant dear Portsmouth well,
But ended with an edifice approximating Hell.

The 80s said they'd see it fall,
The 90s said so too,
But each time that aesthetic crime would see the decade through.

At last the Tricorn's gone, but now,
I get a sense of dread,
The powers that be, in fits of glee, will build far worse instead.
Russ, Portsmouth, UK

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BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
The BBC's Jon Kay
"The Tricorn Centre was hailed as a futuristic masterpiece"



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