This year’s RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist was seen by many as the strongest in years. The practice who emerged victorious, beating off competition from internationally recognised practices including Zaha Hadid Architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Mecanoo, O’Donnell + Tuomey and Feilden Clegg Bradley, was Haworth Tompkins: but who exactly are they? Ellis Woodman pinned his hopes on the successful Everyman Theatre before the award was announced, uncovering the practice’s rich history in designing performance spaces through a discussion with founding partner, Steve Tompkins. For Woodman, their theatre work “has left a legacy of spaces that count among the most beautiful and provocative created in Britain over the past twenty years.”
Thanks to a group called Friends of the Flyover, Liverpool has become the latest city with aspirations to build its own High Line-style elevated parkway. The group have raised over £40,000 on the civic crowdfunding website Spacehive to conduct a feasibility study on the elevated Churchill Flyover, with the aim of creating a park, events space and cycle route. Liverpool Council currently has plans to demolish the flyover at a cost of £4 million – however they are said to be open to the proposal by Friends of the Flyover, who hope to show that they can deliver a better solution for around half the cost. You can read the full story on the Independent.
A controversial plan to redevelop a large area of Liverpool’s waterfront has received an effective green light after the Communities Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, chose not to call in the scheme for a public inquiry. The £5.5 billion scheme is designed by Chapman Taylor and provides 9,000 homes, 300,000 square meters of office space and 50,000 square meters of hotel and other facilities. The scheme also includes the 55-story ‘Shanghai Tower’ and a cruise ferry terminal.
The plan has attracted criticism, in particular from English Heritage and UNESCO who worry that the size of the developments will negatively affect the Liverpool skyline, dominated for almost a century by the ‘Three Graces’ a trio of listed buildings that have come to define the view from the Mersey River. UNESCO has strongly opposed the development, placing Liverpool’s world heritage site on it’s ‘endangered’ list and threatening that if the scheme goes ahead, the area could lose its world heritage status.
Read more about the reaction to the scheme after the break…
Architects: 2020 Liverpool
Location: Broad Lane, Kirkby, Liverpool, Merseyside L32 6QH, England
Client: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Structural Engineer: 2020 Liverpool
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: 2020 Liverpool
Contractor: Morgan Sindall
Completion Date: 2011
Site Area: 47,041 sqm
Photographs: Infinite 3D
Alsop High School is a popular mixed comprehensive with nearly 1800 pupils, including over 300 in the sixth form. It is the largest secondary school in Liverpool. Prior to development, the arrangement and condition of the existing buildings were severely restricting the school’s progress. The school playground was mostly tarmac with no green space for student play or social interaction. The main school building was built in 1926 and had little flexibility for modern teaching and the curriculum. Temporary dining accommodation was in use and the school were using more than 30 ‘portacabin’ type classrooms which were in desperate need of repair. Unfortunately, these cabins were not only a poor setting for education, but also terrible eyesores for the immediate community of the Walton Village conservation area who overlooked the site.
Ginseng Chicken Architecture, a promising new firm, has proposed a design for the National Wildflower Center in Liverpool. The science center, which provides a variety of activities such as plant production areas and facilities for seed processing, “will inspire people to visit the center to learn about the relationship between nature, mathematics and physics…it will provide an operational hub for creative conservation, learning and innovation,” explained the architects.
More diagrams, images and information after the break.