Byker Community Trust are looking for a local artist to take the lead on recreating the iconic signature of renowned architect Ralph Erskine on the Grade II* Listed Estate.

The signature is to be recreated on one of the outside walls of Ralph Erskine’s old office, which is now being converted by BCT into new homes.

Originally built as funeral parlour, the building served as central design hub for Erskine and his team when redeveloping old Byker into the new Byker Estate. The building was recently acquired by BCT from Newcastle City Council.

In 1975, a large hot air balloon mural was painted on the Brinkburn Street building by Erskine and his team, as a way of tidying up the raw gable end following demolition of an adjacent property.

The hot air balloon signature was used by Ralph Erskine as a hopeful symbol, representing the ability of the human spirit to rise above adversity.

Jill Haley Chief Executive at Byker Community Trust, said: “Walking around Byker you realise that Erskine’s vision was to create something of social worth. He was revolutionary in his time, by basing himself on the Estate to consult with people face to face and ensuring that they were at the heart of his design plans”.

“Continuing in the spirit of community involvement, we wish to invite local artists to be a part of an exciting project. We are looking to recreate Erskine’s iconic hot air balloon visual signature on the side of his old office, as a tribute to him”.

“It will be a great opportunity for a local person to make a lasting impression, a gesture that I’m confident Ralph Erskine would have liked”.

Artists can apply for the once in a lifetime opportunity to recreate Ralph Erskine’s iconic mural by contacting BCT at 0191 223 8733 or by emailing