Tricorn Centre wins award - five years after being demolished

Hill Head Coastguard rescue team are taking part in the exercise this evening.

Emergency services taking part in training exercise off Stokes Bay

It may have fallen victim to the bulldozers, but the Tricorn Centre is still scooping design awards.

Architects have named the controversial shopping centre the 'best demolished building' at a high-profile ceremony in Nottingham.

They say the 1960s icon is a 'good building' which should not have been torn down.

The concrete centre was chosen as the winner by the Rubble Club – a group of architects who have seen buildings they designed demolished.

Founder Gordon Young, who is also editor of architecture magazine Urban Realm, said: 'The Rubble Club aims to draw attention to the fact that too many good buildings are simply torn down.

'For example the Tricorn was largely replaced by an open air car park – what is the point of that?

'Re-use of current buildings is nearly almost always more sustainable than resorting to demolition.

'Often it is only when a building is demolished that we are jolted into opening our eyes to fully appreciate what has been lost.'

The multi-storey shopping centre, which was designed by Owen Luder, was torn down in 2004 to make way for the planned Northern Quarter scheme – a 500m transformation of Portsmouth's city centre.

Portsmouth Society chairwoman Dr Celia Clarke fought to save the Tricorn from the bulldozers and recently published a book about its history called The Tricorn - The Life and Death of a Sixties Icon.

She said: 'This award goes to show the Tricorn should have never been torn down.

'Clearly, if it had survived a couple more years we'd at least have something there now rather than the decay that exists with that area of shops.

'The people who chose to demolish it were very short- sighted.

'It was a symbol of Portsmouth and a fantastic example of Sixties architecture.'

Despite the award, Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson maintains the Tricorn was an 'eyesore' that he is glad to see the back of.

'It was regularly voted one of the most ugly buildings in the country by real people, not architects,' he said.

'It was a building that never worked and I thank the Lord it was torn down.

'A pile of rotting grey concrete is not the image we want for Portsmouth.'

>> Vote in our latest web poll.