The Byker Redevelopment
The Byker Wall is an impressive structure but have you seen what lies behind it...?
The Byker Estate gained Grade II* listing in 2007
If you've ever travelled from Newcastle to the coast on the Metro, you're bound to have noticed the striking structure that is the Byker Wall.
Whatever you think of it - like it or loathe it - there's no denying the wall is very imposing.
But how many of us have actually seen what lies behind the multi-coloured facade?
The Byker Wall is just one part of the world-renowned Byker Redevelopment, which received Grade II* listing in January 2007 and has won many international awards.
The Byker Estate was built between 1969 and 1982. Designed by the late architect Ralph Erskine, it covers an area of approximately 200 acres and is home to around 9,500 people.
Existing housing was demolished to make way for the new development - although some old buildings including pubs, churches and swimming baths were retained in the new design.
The move to the new development was also phased to help try to keep a sense of community alive.
The layout was designed to encourage cars to be left at the edges of the estate and public spaces were included to encourage social interaction. The area was landscaped with trees and gardens.
There is a huge variety of housing. The Byker Wall, which varies from three to 12 stories high, is the most well-known part of the development but there are also a lot of low rise and individual houses.
The outer Wall was designed to protect the rest of the development both from the wind and traffic pollution (at the time a proposed motorway was due to be built alongside it).
Byker now has an international reputation as one of the most important urban housing projects since the Second World War, though it has had it's fair share of problems over the years.
The estate has collected a number of awards including a Civic Trust Award and the Veronica Rudge Green Prize for urban design from Harvard University in the United States.
We asked for your views of the estate. Here is a selection of your comments:
last updated: 06/03/2008 at 15:52