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Posts tagged ‘riba’

Liverpool’s historic architecture: tours, sell-offs and exhibitions

Well, now that Historic Liverpool is up, running and generally settling into its new clothes, we can get back to talking about the rest of the news! RIBA are planning tours of Liverpool, the City Council is planning to sell its historic buildings, and SevenStreets show you the best of RIBA’s upcoming Northwest Architecture Festival. Read more

More awards for Merseyside buildings

The Waterstones book shop in the Liverpool One development

Liverpool One by Eugene Regis, via Flickr

Liverpool has once again won a slew of architecture prizes in this year’s RIBA awards.

Awards were given to Liverpool One, Sites 1 & 7, the Pier Head Canal Link (which I personally love, and which is some consolation for the Carbuncle Cup awarded to the Ferry Terminal last year) and the John Moores Art and Design Academy This means that three out of the five North West winners are from Merseyside.

A lot of the awards went to educational projects (including LJMU), and it’s been noted that this may be the last time education has such a chance as this. A moratorium on new school buildings has since been announced as part of the new government’s cost-cutting measures.

Landscapes get Lottery windfall

The Heritage Lottery have announced that they are giving grants of between £250,000 and £2m for ten countryside areas, known for their historic natural landscapes. The aim of the Landscape Partnerships programme is to encourage communities to become interested and involved in preserving their local heritage. While none of the areas nominated this week are urban (or, indeed, man-made), it seems to fit with the Conservative’s ideas of ‘Big Society’, and it may only be a matter of time before this kind of scheme spreads to other heritage areas such as our own World Heritage Site.


A few other bits and pieces… The new minister for Heritage and the Built Environment is John Penrose (Conservative), who is also the minister for gambling and horse racing! Make of that what you will.

As part of the BBC’s History of the World project, they showed The Tale of Two Rival Cities. This is the story of Liverpool and Manchester, and how the two most important cities in the north-west vied for supremacy during the Industrial Revolution.

In reality they relied on one another: Liverpool was the gateway for the raw material for Manchester’s cotton manufacturing. It was a symbiosis, but Liverpool gentlemen overtaxed the Manchester men, leading to the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal to avoid Mersey tolls.

It’s a great programme, hosted by Stuart Maconie (from Wigan, halfway between the two cities) and covers everything from slavery and steam engines to gentrification and the trade unions. It’s available on the BBC iPlayer for a short while.

The Financial Times has a special report on its website entitled The Future of Cities. Although I haven’t had a chance to look much into it, it appears to be a huge resource on architecture, business, planning and the environment. If you want to read anything on current urban thinking, then this is probably a good place to start.

And finally: I’ve had to disable trackbacks and pingbacks. These are similar to comments, where a paragraph of your blog will appear below a post of mine if you mention it on your own site. And, like comments, they’re open to abuse by the less salubrious parts of the web. It’s one of the risks of blog-writing, I suppose, but let me take this opportunity to let you know that you can still comment! Please do – I’d love to know your own views on what I’ve written about!

Liverpool architecture under threat and under debate again

Liverpool One, by liquidindian, from Flickr

Liverpool One, by liquidindian, from Flickr

The Grade II Newsham Park Hospital building is under threat, reports the Echo, due to an increasing level of disrepair, and neglect on the part of the owners. Now councilor Steve Radford has stepped up to try to save the building, calling on the owners to take action. Comments on the Echo site reflect anger that the council is not doing enough, while also worrying that there is insufficient cash to do anything.

Newsham Park hospital began life as the Liverpool Seamen’s Orphan Institution, caring for the children of families lost at sea. The building was designed by Aigburth-born Sir Alfred Waterhouse, architect of Liverpool University’s Victoria Building and the latest Liverpool Royal Infirmiary building. The building was eventually used by the NHS, but closed in 1988 since when it has lain empty.

The building is not currently on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk register.

In other architectural news, two buildings are up for an award seen as the antithesis of the prestigious RIBA award. The new Pier Head ferry terminal, and the Grosvenor’s Liverpool One (ironically shortlisted for the RIBA award) are up for the prize.

Although quirky, the new ferry terminal is not all that bad, especially as it’s such a small building (compared to, say, the new musuem). As with any new development, Liverpudlians are rightly protective of their Three Graces, and luckily people are coming to the defence of the terminal. I really admire the Liverpool One development (with perhaps the exception of the Lego flats to the north of Chevasse Park). The place is colourful, bright, and includes a green area which so many modern cities (Swindon, I’m looking at you!) lack.

What are your thoughts on the new development, and the awards?

75th Anniversary of Queensway Tunnel

Coat of arms above the Queensway Tunnel, Liverpool. By Alli' Cat' (from Flickr)

Coat of arms above the Queensway Tunnel, Liverpool. By Alli' Cat' (from Flickr)

This weekend was the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Queensway Tunnel. The National Museums Liverpool blog has an article on the topic, along with links to several online resources, mainly photos. There are some great pictures of the tunnel being constructed, along with other construction schemes (the Anglican Cathedral and ships’ engines). These are from the Stuart Bale collection owned by National Museums Liverpool. In addition, there is the Queensway Mersey Tunnel album which is reproduced page by page (use the links on the right hand side to read each page). A highlight is the ‘mystery figure‘ who climbs up the side of a nearby building for a better view – being caught on camera in the process!

In other news, the Liverpool One scheme has been shortlisted for the Sterling Prize of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The design won a regional RIBA award in May.