Tucked away up a relatively quiet street but very close to the Cathedral is this car park. Built in 1974, it is regarded as one of the finest examples of Brutalist architecture in the UK, spread over five floors. High Cross was designed by architect John Taylor, of Marshman, Warren, Taylor Architects who were, at the time, one of the largest architectural firms in the UK. As well as an architect, Taylor prided himself on being a graphic designer and the giant concrete lettering, ‘Car Park, Car Park, Car Park, Car Park’, on the façade of the building was designed by him. Although monumental, this piece of lettering is actually very detailed with the letters carefully designed to overlap and fit into the shape of the cast concrete blocks. Intended as the entrance for the car park, the façade would have acted as a piece of architectural ‘wayfinding’ or ‘sign-posting’, directing drivers to come and park their cars. Unfortunately the Council changed the way the road networked around the building at the last minute which inadvertently changed the entrance into the exit. Ironically, the only glimpse of the graphic façade you get is through your rear view mirror as you leave the car park.
© Geoff Dunham Photography