Tricorn Exhibition Opens at Portsmouth City Museum

Tricorn Exhibition Opens at Portsmouth City Museum

Love it or hate it, one thing is undeniable, The Tricorn was a distinctive building and helped shape for many years the skyline of Portsmouth. Another undeniable fact is that everyone had an opinion on the structure, from its design through to its use and this exhibition, entitled Tricorn: Controversy in Concrete at Portsmouth City Museum, is sure to remind people that even after 10 years since it’s demolition the Tricorn can still instil passion in the people of Portsmouth and further afield.

The exhibition itself explores the architectural roots of both the Tricorn in the Brutalist movement, its construction in 1966 & all the way through to the Tricorn’s demise in 2004. The exhibition also explores how the Tricorn formed a part of the community, with it home to businesses, a place to work, explore and play through the years. For the first time all of these aspects of this distinctly Portsmouth building will be on display.

As part of the exhibition will be a display of over 100 photos submitted to Strong Island by over 30 photographers that will form the community photography panel. The photographs show the Tricorn in many different ways, with it forming not just a backdrop but a clear, creative inspiration to many students and people of Portsmouth. We’re really excited to share the work and the display.

We are also working with a group of artists and photographers on a series of prints that will be on sale at the Portsmouth City Museum during the exhibition and on display within the exhibition. We’ll have more details on these and some other Tricorn related events and activities soon!

The exhibition opens on the 15th March and runs through to the 29th June.

Below is the official flyer plus a very small selection of images submitted to us to form the community photography panel.

Tricorn Exhibition Poster

Tricorn by Nick Moore

Tricorn by Dave Sanderson

Tricorn by Jon King

Tricorn by Allister Lewis

Tricorn by Paul Duffy


  1. Stephen Budd

    4 March

    The Tricorn was a bit like Marmite……You either Loved it or you Hated it.
    As an ex Portsmouth resident, I have to say, I loved it and it was so much more of a talking point than the car park that replaced it!
    R.I.P Tricorn

  2. Tommy p

    5 March

    Fond memories the massive pic n mix in Charlotte at superstore, of domino records and the fusion rave shop.
    Less so the reek of p**s and general skankiness of the whole area! My dad worked in the nightclub basins where they used to pay the bands in drugs rather than money so the legend goes!

  3. Carole Doe

    12 March

    I have fond memories of the Tricorn. My husband and I decided to get engaged and went to Samuals to buy the ring. Got back to the car, a ford anglia, and playing on the radio was the carpenters on top of the world. That’s how we felt and we decided that was it. We were engaged for 3 years and have been married for almost 38 years and we both still remember that moment in the Tricorn car park?

  4. Paul Gonella

    13 March

    Hi Carol,

    THat is a great memory of the Tricorn. Could you maybe email me at paul@strong-island.co.uk as we want to start collecting people’s memories and opinions on the Tricorn once the exhibition opens.



  5. Tracy Weller

    28 March

    I’m in that Skate pic,as are a couple of people that still live in Pompey

  6. Tracy Weller

    28 March

    BTW Photo Credit for that is Paul Duffy.

  7. Nat Halliday

    28 March

    Will the prints be available to buy online? Shipping to NZ?

  8. Paul Gonella

    1 April

    Hi, not initially but we’ll be announcing in a month or so availability online

  9. rohan storey

    1 June

    Is there a catalogue that those of us who cant make it can purchase ?
    Im an architectural historian in Melbourne Australia and we have a brutalist carpark and shops facing demolition right now !

  10. Paul Gonella

    3 June

    Hey, the artist series will be available online from the end of the month, we’ll post up details once the museum exhibition has ended.

  11. Andy underwood

    26 June

    I really loved the tricorn and would go to domino records every Saturday morning to buy house and rave records. I think when pompey lost the tricorn and the market and shops within, it lost part of its soul. Gunwharf and cascades are ok but they don’t have shops like hellrazor or fusion .

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