There’s all sorts popping up around the Internet recently for those of a landscape persuasion. From the dozens of liver birds dotting the streets, to poking around inside old buildings, there’s something for every urban explorer. Then there’s imaginary city landscapes… Read more
It’s been four months (four!) since I last posted, and this is possibly the longest gap since I began the blog. It’s all in a good cause though, because my extra time has been going into finishing a book I’ve been writing, on Liverpool history of course! More info in good time, but until then I thought I’d share some photos of another Liverpool history book I recently bought, plus news of this year’s Heritage at Risk register. Read more
Liverpool Metropolitan RC Cathedral, by Jonathan Gill via Flickr
A new book is released this month by Stephen Bayley, and published by RIBA.
Liverpool: Shaping the City is a large and colourful exploration of the city’s built history. It includes development, old and new and brings in photographs from the early 20th Century when some of Merseyside’s most iconic buildings were being constructed.
We learn in the Foreword by RIBA’s president Ruth Reed that Liverpool can lay claim to three world firsts in architecture: the first building to use skyscraper technology (Oriel Chambers in Water Street), the first wet dock (no prizes for guessing) and the first hydraulic cargo-handling system.
Perhaps I’ll come back to a full review of this book once I’ve read it (it only arrived this morning!), but suffice to say it looks to include good coverage of how Liverpool has developed as a city, and how it does and will continue to change as the years progress.
Meanwhile, you can read a column in the Times by Stephen Bayley, How Liverpool returned from the dead which introduces some ideas from the book. His main point is that you can ‘design your way out of a depression’ by building cities which bring joy to people. From a personal point of view, I whole-heartedly agree (though my cynicism would reword it as ‘design yourself towards the end of a depression), which is why I – and others – get so animated when an ugly construction is plonked down in a beloved vista.
My favourite quote from the article, and one which almost single-handedly justifies this blog and my interests in Liverpool’s buildings, is “We make our environments and then our environments make us”. He suggests putting it on a T-shirt, and I just might.
“As Liverpool emerges from its year in the limelight as European Capital of Culture, a new exhibition, mounted by SAVE Britain’s Heritage, takes a sobering look at the state of the city’s architectural heritage.” This exhibition is being held at the RIBA gallery in Liverpool from 16 February until 6 March 2009. Check out the SBH’s news pages for more details.
They also have a new publication, Triumph, Disaster and Decay, a survey of Liverpool’s heritage. It “shines a light on fine buildings suffering from long-term neglect”. It also covers new development in the World Heritage Site and clearance in the suburbs, and includes a gazeteer of buildings at risk in Liverpool. The book costs £12.50, or £10 for Friends of Save.
Also, the Echo Arena is one of four Liverpool buildings in the running for a top national architecture award, the Civic Trust Award.