The architect behind some of Britain’s most controversial buildings has passed away at the age of 93.

Owen Luder was responsible for some of the most iconic buildings in the country during the 1960s and 70s. Many of these buildings have been demolished.

His works are often cited among the most striking examples Brutalist architecture. This style is distinguished by its large-scale use concrete and geometric shapes.

He has a number of buildings in his portfolio, including one that was once voted as the most hated building in Britain. But he is best remembered for the Trinity Square multistorey carpark in Gateshead that was featured in Get Carter in 1971.

The film’s title character Michael Cain kills Cliff Brumby, a local businessman, from the topmost car park. This cements the film’s place in cinematic history. 

However, not all of Luder’s designs were as iconic or beloved as Trinity Square. 

Pictured: Brutalist architect Owen Luder - the man behind some of the UK's most controversial buildings - has died aged 93

Pictured: Owen Luder, a Brutalist architect and the man behind some of Britain’s most controversial buildings, has died at the age of 93.

Pictured: Architect Owen Luder pays one last visit to the iconic Trinity Square car park before it was demolished in 2010

Pictured: Owen Luder (Architect) pays a final visit to Trinity Square before it was demolished.

Due to the nature of Brutalism many buildings were considered cold and soulless and stood out from their neighbors.

Due to the British climate, concrete was used in buildings. This meant that their facades were often destroyed quickly, meaning that any aesthetic appeal they once had vanished.

Speaking to Dezeen in 2014, Luder said: ‘We never set out to design Brutalist buildings. We designed them in concrete because that’s what was there. Bear in mind it was the 60s; it was difficult to get steel, it was still rationed.’

Harold Owen Luder, who was born in London in 1928, grew up wanting to build aircraft, but decided to become an architect after the Second World War. 

After graduating from Brixton School, Luder worked as a construction worker in the 50s. He then started his own business in 1957 with Rodney Gordon.

New buildings were in high demand after the war, and business was booming for this fledgling company.

The design of Eros House in Catford was considered by Luder as his most successful work but has since fallen into disrepair

Luder considered Eros House, Catford, his most successful work. However, it has since fallen to disrepair.

In 2019, Luder asked for the plaque bearing his name to be removed from Eros House in protest at the poor state it was in

Luder demanded that the plaque bearing his name be removed from Eros House in protest of the poor state it was placed in in 2019.

Eros House, which Luder considered his most successful building, was built in Catford in 1963 on land that used to be the Eros Theatre.

The building was part of a larger urban renewal program that also included the Catford Centre, which was also designed by Luder. It was celebrated when it opened.

In 2019, Luder demanded a plaque bearing his name was removed from the award-winning building, in protest at its ‘disgraceful’ condition. 

The Tricorn Centre in Portsmouth was one of his first commercial projects. Costing the city council about £2million, the shopping centre opened in 1966 and was purposefully designed with a blank façade.

Once the shopping centre was open, it was hoped that tenants would move in to bring life and vibrancy to the area.

Because it was not connected with Portsmouth City Centre, the development failed to attract major tenants. Due to this, units were let out to smaller retailers who struggled to get the footfall needed to put the development on the map.

When it opened in 1966, the Tricorn Centre in Portsmouth (pictured) was supposed to be a buzzing hub for huge retailers

The Tricorn Centre, Portsmouth (pictured), was supposed to be a hub for big retailers when it opened in 1966.

The Tricorn Centre became increasingly seedy and dilapidated and was eventually pulled down in 2004 over nine months

The Tricorn Centre became more seedy and dilapidated, and was finally demolished in 2004 after nine months.

The centre became more seedy in the 1980s and the nightclub was turned into a casino. The shops began to leave, with their last unit leaving in 2002.

The car park at the centre was the site of many suicide attempts. It is also one of the tallest buildings on the south coast. A plaque offering support from Samaritans was placed at the top.

Despite the fact that there was a small fanbase, the building’s architecture came under fire after numerous attempts to get it listed in 1990s failed.

It was voted the 3rd most ugly building in the UK in 1980s. In 2001, BBC Radio 4 listeners voted it to be the most hated building.

Prince Charles described it as a mildewed lump full of elephant droppings.

In 2004, the building was demolished. This took nine months. The site now serves as a ground-level parking lot for the city centre. 

Pictured: The Tricorn Centre in Portsmouth which was once voted the most hated building in the UK by BBC Radio listeners

Pictured: The Tricorn Centre, Portsmouth, which was once voted by BBC Radio listeners the most hated building of the UK

One year after opening the Tricorn Centre, Gateshead’s Trinity Square opened to the north east.

The original design was made in 1962. By the time that the car park opened in August 1969 for a nominal fee, interest in the movement had already declined.

It cost £200,000 to construct and opinions on the design for the car park have been divided right down the middle ever since it opened.

The car park featured seven decks of spaces with a café at the top which offered a stunning view across the Tyne but was never used.

It was made famous by its appearance in the 1970s film, Jack Carter, in which Caine played the role of Jack Carter, a gangster who returns to Newcastle to discover the truth about the death of his brother.

One scene shows Carter throwing Cliff Brumby (played by Bryan Mosley) to his death in the car park.

Iconic: Luder's most famous building was the Trinity Square car park in Gateshead which was opened in August 1969

Iconic: Luder’s most famous building was Trinity Square, a car park in Gateshead that was opened in August 1969

Trinity Square became famous after it featured in a prominent scene of the 1971 film Get Carter in which Michael Cain's character throws local businessman Cliff Brumby, played by the late Bryan Mosley, to his death from the car park (pictured)

Trinity Square was famousized after it was featured in the iconic scene in 1971’s Get Carter, in which Michael Cain’s character hurls Cliff Brumby (played by Bryan Mosley) to his death in the car park.

Mr Luder made a final visit to the structure’s extraordinary rooftop box, built 124ft up, stating that it was a sad day and that Gateshead was losing its ‘front teeth’.

Mr Luder stated that he believed the car park should be maintained and the shops below it should be renovated. It was left to deteriorate, and it looks a disgraceful. He stated that it could actually be renovated.

“The sad part is that they won’t interview anyone about the demolition of what is being built now in 20 or thirty years.”

It was demolished and replaced by a new shopping center and car park in 2010. 

Luder’s other notable Brutalist building in the north east is Derwent Tower. It was named the Dunston Rocket due to its shape.

Derwent Tower was a block of flats that was 29 stories high, and opened in Dunston in Gateshead in 1972.

The building fell into disrepair and, despite protests, was demolished in 2010 to make way for a new shopping centre

The building fell into disrepair, and was demolished in 2010.

Derwent Tower, in Dunston, Gateshead, was known as the Dunston Rocket and, like Trinity Square, was later demolished

Derwent Tower in Dunston (Gateshead), was known as Trinity Square and the Dunston Rocket.

Luder's Southgate Shopping Centre in Bath was considered controversial because Victorian and Georgian buildings were demolished to make way for its construction. The building was demolished in 2007 to make way for a new shopping centre

Luder’s Southgate Shopping Centre, Bath, was controversial due to the fact that Victorian and Georgian buildings were destroyed in order to make way for its construction. To make way for a new shopping center, the building was demolished.

Because of the poor ground conditions, construction was difficult. The foundations were built on a sunken concrete caisson which was elevated and then sunk over time.

The building was in disrepair, just like Trinity Square. In 2007, residents were forced out of the building after it was declared unsafe. In 2012, the building was demolished.

Luder’s Southgate Shopping Centre, Bath, was completed in 1971. However, it had already faced controversy before opening. Many Victorian and Georgian structures had to be demolished in order for it to be constructed.

The building’s design was unpopular, and in 2007, it was demolished to make room for a shopping mall in the more classical style, which was deemed more appropriate to the city of Bath.

Luder, who was a life-long Arsenal fan and was also behind many uncontroversial project such as Harrogate House, Harrogate (1963), Hendon Hall Court, north London (1963), and 16 Grand Avenue, Hove (1965).

He also managed the conversion in 1967 of West Norwood’s Victorian firehouse into the South London Theatre. 

The iconic Catford Cat is one of several Luder contributions which remain installed in 1974 when the centre was designed

The iconic Catford Cat is just one of many Luder contributions that were installed in 1974, when the centre was built.

Pictured: Wigham House in Barking was designed by the Owen Luder Partnership and opened in 1973 and still stands today

Pictured: The Owen Luder Partnership designed the Wigham House in Barking. It was opened in 1973.

He served as the president of the Royal Institute of British Architects on two separate occasions, between 1981–1983 and again between 1995–1997. 

Simon Allford RIBA president said: ‘Our thoughts are with Luder’s family, friends and loved ones at this time.

‘Made famous as the commercially astute Brutalist, Luder designed several remarkable schemes throughout the 1960s and 1970s, which divided opinion – attracting both admiration and condemnation – in equal measure.

‘Luder will be remembered for his powerful and raw schemes that were celebrated in critically-acclaimed movies and – in the case of the Tricorn Centre – celebrated and demolished.

‘Owen’s life was long and well lived – dedicated to his family, friends, the profession and his beloved Arsenal FC.’

What is Brutalist Architecture? Navigating through the concrete jungle of monolithic blocks

Brutal: Centre Point in London is one of the city's many examples of Brutalist architecture 

Brutal: Centre Point is one of London’s many examples Brutalist architecture 

Brutalism was born out of the modernist architectural movement. It is a style that features concrete fortress-like buildings and flourished between mid-70s and 1950s.

Brutalist architecture is beloved and hated in equal measures. Plans to demolish monolithic structures often face campaigns to save them.

Examples of the linear style include London’s Southbank Centre which houses the Haywood Gallery and Centre Point, which is located at the bottom Tottenham Court Road.

The style, which often has an ‘unfinished concrete look’, was initially used for government buildings, low rent housing, and shopping centres to create functional structures at low cost. However, designers eventually adopted the look for other purposes, including arts centres and libraries.

The style is criticized by critics for its ‘cold appearance’. Many buildings have been turned into symbols of urban decay and graffitied.

Brutalism is still appreciated by others. Many buildings have been granted Listed status.

English architects Alison and Peter Smithson were believed to have coined the term in 1953, from the French béton brut, or ‘raw concrete’, although Swedish architect Hans Asplund clained he used the term in a conversation in 1950.

The term was popularized in 1966 by Reyner Banham, a British architect critic.