Battle to save brutalist 60s concrete car park from the being demolished

General view of Bristol's Rupert Street car park.
Bristol’s Rupert Street car park may be torn down and replaced with a block of flats (Picture: Google)

A campaign has been launched to preserve a 1960s car park by getting it listed with Historic England.

Bristol’s Rupert Street car park has the illustrious claim of being the UK’s first lot to feature a continuous spiral ramp.

But property developers Greystar are in the middle of submitting plans to tear the building down.

They want to replace it with a 21-storey accommodation block with 450 parking spaces for students and workers.

However, modernist campaigners, 20th Century Society, is pushing back by applying for it to be listed as a ‘classic, bold and sculptural building’.

They said: ‘This is a superb example of 1960s Brutalism that clearly expresses its function and structure, while being was a true innovator in the field of car park design.’

The campaigners have also pitched the idea to modernise the car park into a charging hub for electric cars.

Sketch of plans for the multi-storey carpark.
The ‘classic’ Brutalist car park was built between December 1959 and October 1960 (Picture: C20)
Artist's impression of what the accomodation block would look like.
This is an artist’s impression of what the accommodation block would look like (Picture: Student Roost)

They argue remodelling the car park would better-serve Bristol’s goal of achieving 100% ultra-low-emission-vehicle (ULEV) coverage by 2050.

They also say there is still ‘high demand for public car-parking in Bristol’, and Rupert Street provides nearly 10% of in the area.

But Mark Osborne, from architects Alec French, believes redeveloping the car park ‘will turn it into an asset for the local community’.

He told the BBC: ‘This is an opportunity to make better use of the car park to support the economic, cultural, creative and diverse rejuvenation of the centre of Bristol.’

Plans are for the new block of flats are expected to be submitted this spring.

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Bristol – Metro