Liverpool’s reformation takes another step forward this week, as the Liverpool Regeneration Partnership submits plans for an RTKL-designed concept for a 1ha mixed-use site behind the city’s Central Station.
The site will include 15 000m2 of mixed-use leisure and retail facilities and 300 apartments and follows the city’s successful bid for European Capital of Culture 2008.
Described as a ‘challenging urban context’, the site is currently a car park, adjacent to a shopping centre and train station, and is bisected by two bridges and sub-surface train tunnels.
According to RTKL lead architect Sam Watkins, the ‘peculiarities and restrictions of the site were a significant design challenge’.
‘The site and the surrounding area have a rich historical heritage and real topographical drama,’ he explains. ‘We [need to] reflect this in our design and also create a hierarchy of spaces from which a mixture of activities can operate.’
Plans include a four-floor block that will primarily offer bar, restaurant and cafÃ© facilities, although several casino operators have also expressed interest, says Watkins.
Branding is likely to be ‘subtle’, as the plans call for a scheme that fits into the existing fabric of the city, he adds.
Four public spaces, including a public garden and plaza are planned, and RTKL is working with Cass Associates on landscaping.
It’s hoped the scheme will be complete by 2006. RTKL was appointed following ‘a limited competition’ last summer, says Watkins.