Location: Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: Johannes Marburger
From the architect. In 2006, Foundation Greenland Street invited Office for Subversive Architecture to develop the first of their annual architecture commissions which will inhabit the roof of The Blade Factory.
"Kunsthülle LPL" is a temporary installation for a major new venue for contemporary art in Liverpool. The rooftop structure is a playful and experimental space for lectures, performances and events. It appears to merge into the old factory, incorporating an existing staircase, the rooftop, and extending out over the public façade of the building.
The installation consists of a pavilion structure that divides the rooftop into two terraced spaces - the "City-" and "Merseyside" - that are lined with green hedges. A permeable membrane allows visitors to walk from one zone to another, passing through a curtain that flexes and warps.
Made from the PVC curtain used in modern factory building, the translucent skin has two layers: an outer white layer which protects the space from the weather and an inner red layer which adds thermal and noise protection.
The "Kunsthülle LPL" responds to the shifting environment, with changes in light and wind playing across the curtains, creating a dynamic and lively character. Its translucent skin acts as a beacon that links the arts centre to the city, offering a space for talks and discussions with fantastic views to the river Mersey and Liverpool.
Inspired by the regeneration of Liverpool, the "Kunsthülle LPL" alludes to the industrial heritage of this former factory complex and surrounding buildings. Liverpool's architectural landscape combines a large-scale World Heritage Site, decrepit buildings and a variety of renovations, refurbishments and new builds. It is an inspiring mix. The feeling of growth is palpable and the "Kunsthülle LPL" aims to engage audiences in a wider debate about the built environment.