'A cornflake box', 'very modern' and 'a canny window cleaning job' - 10 things you said about Sunderland's new City Hall designs

Sunderland's new plans for a six-storey City Hall would certainly take its occupants up in the world.

Thursday, 7th February 2019, 3:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:32 pm
How Sunderland Civic Centre's replacement building may look.

But would the current Civic Centre's proposed replacement - described by council leader Coun Graeme Miller as a "City Hall and Public Sector Hub” - take the city itself forward?

Opinions were divided when we posted the new drawings for the Vaux site on our Facebook page.

How Sunderland Civic Centre's replacement building may look.

Bob Fenwick said: "Where do these architects get their ideas from?

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"Do they look at cornflake boxes and say that would make a nice building? Why not get someone in who actually designs nice practical buildings?"

Anthony Jukes added: "It's bloody awful. Taking inspiration from historic buildings? What like the 70s eyesores that replaced the real history?

Mark John Riggall argued: "Why not have local celebrity architect George Clarke design it?

The current council headquarters.

"Surely he would design something with connections to the city and the old Vaux building that stood there. Anything better than that souless monstrosity.

Andy O'Hair looked slightly north to Gateshead for inspiration.

He said: "I would prefer a design similar to The Sage. This is an eyesore, let’s have some ambition, it’s in a prominent area of our city."

John Thomas Porter, meanwhile, asked: "Could they build it down Seaburn so we don't have to look at it?"

Yet other readers were defensive of the drawings.

Jason Hill said: "What are people expecting? The Shard or the Gherkin in London?

"That will never happen because we are not an 'attractive' city like London, Birmingham Manchester or, I dare say, Newcastle."

Anthony Longford added: "For those who are saying the council should use empty city centre buildings, where would hold 1,200 staff?

"None of the buildings in and around the city centre would be fit for purpose.

"If enough people are working on and around the Vaux site then they will shop, eat and generally socialise in the city centre and businesses will be encouraged to invest there."

Stephen Martin was also supportive, arguing: "Looks very modern and more in line with what we're seeing built on the bigger cities. Will help make it feel more like a city centre.

Chris Hall went even further, adding: "Brilliant news. The quicker they get rid of that awful Civic Centre the better. Onwards and upwards for the city."

We'll leave the final word, however, with Carol Borthwick, who wrote: "Someone's going to have a canny window cleaning job, I suppose."