London’s Welbeck Car Station is the latest Brutalist gem to be on the chopping block, after the Westminster Council approved a plan to demolish the famed structure and build a luxury hotel in its place.
The storied building dates back to the late 1960s when Michael Blampied and Partners designed it as an amenity for a nearby department store. When the car park was finished in 1971, it garnered mixed reactions, as so many Brutalist buildings do, but it was generally considered a forward-thinking architectural monument to the quotidian act of parking a car.
Its concrete facade was designed as a series of tessellated polygons whose diamond-shaped negative space allowed plenty of light to flow into the 10 stories of parking spaces. The concrete grill was simultaneously strong but delicate, as if it was woven together by a very large hand.
In the end, the Welbeck Car Park wasn’t granted historic status, and plans to salvage its diamond facade for the new hotel failed. Instead, the corner is set to be occupied by a design from EPR Architects for Shiva Hotels, featuring a glassy facade with gilded windows.