Portsmouth’s Tricorn put on show in Venice

The Tricorn centre
The Tricorn centre
Arundel Street and Holbrook Road. Picture: Google Maps

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IT was one of the most controversial but iconic buildings in Portsmouth and now part of the Tricorn is heading to Italy.

A tall steel window from the building, which was demolished in 2004, is making its way to the Venice Biennale of Architecture (VBA).

It comes after it was spotted by architect Charles Brooking, who had parts of the building featured in his exhibition in Cranleigh, Surrey.

And he was so impressed by it, that he persuaded architect Rem Koolhaus, curator of the British pavilion in the VBA, that its UK display should feature one of the Tricorn windows.

Celia Clark is the president of the Portsmouth Society, and campaigned against the demolition of the Tricorn.

She said: ‘It’s really exciting. I am going to Venice so I will be able to see it.

‘I’m absolutely thrilled.

‘The fact that the building is inspiring artists is great.’

And Celia said she is pleased that the building is still being celebrated a decade after it was demolished.

‘There is something about it that is still alive 10 years after it was destroyed,’ she said.

‘It was a masterpiece, it was an icon. It was a very special building and the destruction of it is hard to forgive.’

The Biennale, which runs until November 23, allows big-name architects and designers to showcase new projects.

John Stedman, curator of the exhibition, said: ‘The Tricorn was an iconic building. Lots of people are interested in it. The exhibition of the window will raise the international profile of this building. Whatever the problems with the structure, it was popular and very striking. So it will be good from that point of view and it will help raise Portsmouth’s profile and that of the Brooking Collection.’

An exhibition called Tricorn: Controversy in Concrete is running at the City Museum in Portsmouth. It explores its story and the people who used it. It runs until Sunday, June 29.

A Tricorn Study Day takes place at the museum on Saturday, featuring lectures about the building.

A ticket, which includes a buffet lunch, tea and coffee costs £20. Call (023) 9283 4737.