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Part 1 Project 2012
Lam Nguyen Tram
Newcastle University, UK

The After-Image project evokes references to the memory of architecture and the recognition of value in buildings once they have gone. Such memories should be used as an oscillation, a conversation between past and present to define any new proposals.

The project addresses the after-image of an iconic structure, the Get Carter Car Park in Gateshead. The brutalist building, built in the 1960's, was regarded as cutting edge architecture. Yet after four decades, the car park became the victim of its own design. After receiving a lot of local criticism area in 2010 the car park was demolished. This took several months and became a spectacular event. The after image project takes the life- story of the car park and its relationship to the city as a narrative to reconstitute a new structure. The new design is a reflection of its own past within it surrounding context: an echo of Gateshead’s previous industry.

The design was structured through two stages: firstly, an approach to the industrial metropolis. Three layers which constitute the city ( geography - building facilities - traffic ) are separated and analysed using interpreting models. The analysis revealed many modern planning patterns that have been scattered over a medieval layout, together which has made Gateshead what it is today. Those patterns are used as prototypes to conceptualize a new ever-going structure.

The second stage is the approach to the ghost-image of the car park. Through a series of interpreted hand drawings based on the demolition, images of the car park were deformed and reconstituted several times which made up my conceptual remembrance of the car park. This remembrance was used as a guidance to finalize the on-going structure. Patterns are reselected, studied and adapted to make up the structural grid, circulation rule and planning regulations.

The vertical city has facilities that are built and removed according to the regulatory needs of the tower. The ever-growing structure reflects the story of the car park and the nature of Gateshead. It breaths; it is demolished and rebuilt; it transforms and adapts.

Lam Nguyen Tram


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