Sir Robert McAlpine delivered the building. Credit: via Creo Comms

Tonkin Liu-designed car park opens in Sunderland

The 600-capacity Farringdon Row facility features two “living walls” and adds parking capacity to the Riverside Sunderland regeneration project.

The metal-clad multi-storey car park is illuminated by night and had been part-opened on a temporary basis to support concerts by Beyonce and Pink

Groundwork to prepare the area started in November 2022, with construction partner Sir Robert McAlpine and car park specialist Goldbeck working on the main structure of the MSCP, which will deliver parking provision to support the city centre and Riverside Sunderland, as more of the regeneration masterplan comes on stream.

Tonkin Liu, a RIBA National Award winner this week and responsible for projects including Manchester’s Tower of Light in recent years, designed the building. The design includes a blue wave, with coloured displays occasionally being used to mark key moments and awareness days in the city calendar.

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunderland has a strong association with light, so it’s fitting that the new spaces we are creating as we transform the city centre should feature it so spectacularly in their design.

The car park has living walls at both ends. Credit: via Creo Comms

“There’s a quality to the design of our new buildings that points to the ambition we have for this city. We want our residents to see exceptional buildings, because we want to create an exceptional city – and that applies to every new space we create.”

Within Riverside Sunderland, up to 10,000 jobs are expected to be created, with 1,000 homes earmarked for delivery. Cultural developments include Culture House – a new interactive, immersive library – and Sheepfolds Stables, a conversion of grade two-listed buildings that will be a food and drink-led venue on the edge of Stadium Park.

A new eye hospital, replacing Sunderland Eye Infirmary, will also locate on the Riverside Sunderland site.

Cllr Miller added: “With so many developments taking shape, new places to eat, drink and have fun, and office spaces that will welcome many thousands of people, it is important that we have the facilities to support our transforming city centre to realise its vast potential.”

The extra car park capacity should reduce pressure on other city centre parking such as St Mary’s MSCP, said the council. The car park will operate outside of “normal” working hours, to support the evening economy in the city centre, and will operate through a combination of pre-paid permits and paid parking.

The design features a wave pattern. Credit: via Creo Comms

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