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some shops probably use upper floors as storage space, especially where the ground floor floorplates are small. there is a lot of unlocked potential there though i do remember quite a few new flats being converted during the grainger town project- for instance the central exchange buildings.

according to the project's website over 500 new flats were created in the area - sure a few were new build though. some examples listed here - http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/grainger.nsf/a/property?opendocument
Thanks for that LINK johnny, I didn't know that the 'Grainger Town Project' still had its own Website.

I have added that link to the Websites Thread, at "Section 16", I couldn't think of any other section to put it in, unless you think differently?
 

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I agree, the outside of the Sports Direct store is horrid and creates a really dingy path underneath on Blackett Street. Not good.
I agree - cheap and nasty, crappy, rubbishy, off-the-peg po-mo CRAP that makes the Hub look classy and well-designed. The original Blackett Bridge was slender and elegant - God forbid that CapCo could make do with that. Hell, no, let's have some nasty plastic garbage to defile the city and let them know what a bunch of shallow money-grubbing ****s we are. Bunch of ******* *******s.
 

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i don't even notice the architecture, but the underpass section is very grotty. it's a very uninviting street scene and intersection, and, oddly enough, the two buildings that the bridge joins together are, remarkably, even worse. a blank brick wall is not an acceptable facade in the middle of a big city. what planet were the people who planned this mess living on?

 

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Looking at the picture, it's almost laughable how bad it looks. I agree with WilfBurnsFan, the plain brick wall looks fantastic in comparison. Would like to see something a little more interesting but I doubt there's any chance of Sports Direct leaving or ES wanting to lose what is quite a large unit.

Does anyone have any photos of what the bridge originally looked like?
 

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Looking at the picture, it's almost laughable how bad it looks. I agree with WilfBurnsFan, the plain brick wall looks fantastic in comparison. Would like to see something a little more interesting but I doubt there's any chance of Sports Direct leaving or ES wanting to lose what is quite a large unit.

Does anyone have any photos of what the bridge originally looked like?
Yes, I have two photos of the original Eldon Square bridge, over Blackett Street.

The original 'Blackettbridge' that linked the two parts of Eldon Square. This photo was taken during the Queens Silver Jubilee visit, in 1977 . .


This aerial photo shows just how very narrow this original bridge was, as I explained in 'Post 259' of this thread . .
 

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if they could break through the wall in those 5 sections that are on the blank wall on the right and fill with glazing I think it would look pretty good, would really open that area up as at present as mentioned it just blocks everything off. Surely would not be too difficult?
 

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if they could break through the wall in those 5 sections that are on the blank wall on the right and fill with glazing I think it would look pretty good, would really open that area up as at present as mentioned it just blocks everything off. Surely would not be too difficult?
The entire 'ethos' of the 1970s design of Eldon Square Shopping Centre, was to be inward looking to the "new streets" that were the Malls inside the shopping centre. All the shop fronts faced (naturally) into the new malls, and the traditional 'back of the shop' was at the other end of the shop, of course, and often that meant that this area of the shop 'backed on' to an outside space . . often an existing street.

That is so very clearly illustrated in the photo you are referring to here . .



On the right of this photo, the "backs of the shops" are totally brick and the original plans (which did happen on many other 'similar walls' of Eldon Square during the last 20 or 30 years or so) was to break-up the large brick-areas with the planting of 'climbers' such as Ivy or Virginia Creeper, to climb up them.

In other places, what was seen as 'decorative lead panels' (such as those on the left of this photo, and it is a matter of opinion as to whether these panels achieve this aim or . . er . . not!) were installed to achieve the same (breaking up the bricks) effect.

My main point here is that it MAY not be too easy for retailers to 'break through' those walls (even if C&C and the City Council try to get them to do so) as their stockrooms and offices and toilets, etc, are all likely to have been specifically designed to be in that area. It is not impossible to achieve, it has actually been done on the left of this very photo (this was done a long time after the shopping centre was originally opened) just that it may not be easy!

You see - it was all "a plan" (even if it does seem a bit strange nowadays). Indeed, most of us thought it was strange to have BACKS of shops facing major public-view streets at the time, of course. We understood the 'inward-looking-to-the-mall' concept, but we felt that the walls 'fronting on' to our pre-existing streets (even if backs of shops) should also have a "hint-of-front" to their design, too!!
 

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I don't so much think a blank brick wall is a problem because it looks bad, it's a problem because it's blank. There's no life on the street as a result.
I agree ... a completely wasted street frontage right in the middle of the city which creates a hideous 'dead area' !

obviously we see the same 'although decorated' system in operation with the new ES South (back wall) onto an extremely narrow Newgate street complete with false windows and all :eek:hno:
 

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I don't so much think a blank brick wall is a problem because it looks bad, it's a problem because it's blank. There's no life on the street as a result.
Yes this is very true. Below is a quick idea of how to solve this problem. Basically in the diagram the red part is the new Eldon Square South and the yellow line is the blank brick wall. You can see the space available between the two, This could be turned into a glass atrium and a new entrance into Eldon Square.



In this you could have maybe a small shop or two or just an indoor seating area and escalators and lift.

I've included a quick render below of the idea so you can compare it to how it currently looks...

Currently:



Idea:





Again this is just a simple idea but I think it would solve the problem of having a blank brick wall and no life at street level as a result.
 

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Great render TownPlanningNE, would definitely bring some line back to that area. Only problem I can see is the entrances on Percy Street to Eldon Square via Eldon Gardens are very rarely used so they might think it's not worth the effort to build another one just a minute down the road.

If they did something like that I'd hope they'd take the opportunity to put a new front on the Sports Direct exterior to match, I don't think they'd ever get rid of such a big store in order to build a new bridge, no matter how awful it currently looks.
 

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Great render TownPlanningNE, would definitely bring some line back to that area. Only problem I can see is the entrances on Percy Street to Eldon Square via Eldon Gardens are very rarely used so they might think it's not worth the effort to build another one just a minute down the road.

If they did something like that I'd hope they'd take the opportunity to put a new front on the Sports Direct exterior to match, I don't think they'd ever get rid of such a big store in order to build a new bridge, no matter how awful it currently looks.
The Percy Street entrance to Eldon Garden is very obscure, in my opinion. There's the entrance to the Sony Centre, which wouldn't give the casual passer-by the idea that it goes into anything but that shop; and a rather bleak entrance that gets you to the lifts. They could make more of this.

As for Sports (<pah>) Direct, I agree, sadly, with Smash. If only we could have something like the Manchester bridge posted by Elliott upthread (& for which thanks) - that would be fantastic.
 

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i don't even notice the architecture, but the underpass section is very grotty. it's a very uninviting street scene and intersection, and, oddly enough, the two buildings that the bridge joins together are, remarkably, even worse. a blank brick wall is not an acceptable facade in the middle of a big city. what planet were the people who planned this mess living on?

Of course, in 1986 when all this was being planned, it was spoken of in VERY positive terms (below) . . .

 

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That original render is even more 80's than what we've presently got, yeah i know CSC would never demolish a huge piece of real estate for no gain. However, it should never have be approved in the first place. Also the end of that article is interesting about an extension to Eldon Sqaure that only lasted from 1986-2006, thats not long even for retail developments.
 
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