Following the release, last week, of the £35 million Lime Street regeneration plan and the subsequent debate about its suitability, (see these articles if you missed it):
Liverpool-based community interest company, We Make Places, decided to issue a call to action and invited seven small design and architecture practices from the city to contribute their alternative ideas.
Steve Threlfall from Different, one of the design practices taking part, co-ordinated the project:
“We have a rich culture of innovation, enterprise and creativity,” he says , “and this is what attracts investment and activity. Where else if not in Lime Street should we be harnessing and celebrating this?”
Set up to provoke debate, design collaboratively and bring about positive change in our city’s urban environment and communities, We Make Places believes that if we let the people who care about their city have an active role in reshaping it, great things can happen. We feel this unique challenge proves just how, with a little collaborative and creative thinking, Lime Street’s next chapter could look very different indeed.
Rather than simply offering large scale development with only a small number of uses, we feel that the first thing to be considered should be the needs of the city and the character of this important street.
For Lime Street’s regeneration, to truly reflect the city and it’s culture, we suggest the street needs a plan, an identity and to reflect the character of city through a number of different and diverse offers. As an arrival point for many, how could this gateway reflect the spirit and culture of Liverpool?
Each design and architecture practice invited to contribute by We Make Places is a highly talented micro-business based in Liverpool, each with a deep understanding and passion for our city.
In the space of 4 days (whilst juggling their paid work) the seven invited practices have returned with phenomenal ideas that would deliver and support great commercial businesses, with a clearly unique stamp, responding to services and activities the city needs.
Our proposal is not an ‘alternative proposal’ intended to replace the Neptune scheme, nor does it seek to wholly replace the volume of accommodation proposed, this is our open invitation to the people involved in decision making to consider a different process in the regeneration of our city. This is not to be read as ‘which architectural solution do you prefer?’, but to demonstrate that by engaging with the city’s community in the process, one of our key streets could be amazing, long into the future.
Here is a brief outline of the individual plots, click on each heading to open individual pages
Plot 1: Howard Miller Designs – Art Hotel – a budget hotel, each room themed and decorated by an artist or designer. A rolling programme of commissions ensures a unique stay every time you visit and celebrates Liverpool’s creative community.
Plot 2: Architectural Emporium – Cat Emporium – cat welfare centre, with vet practice and feline cafe and playground, where visitors can hang out with cats. This recognises the growing residential population in the city centre unable to keep pets, whether due to density of space or lifestyle.
Plot 3: Different – Kingpin Bowling & Jazz – a ten-pin bowling alley with a difference, offering live jazz and great food, a base for a growing local jazz scene and a destination within the international jazz touring circuit.
Plot 4: FGA – The Racquet Stack Sports Club – A sports facility and club, with gym, offering coaching for tennis, badminton and squash, improving health and fitness for both city dwellers and visitors.
Plot 5: Reshaped Landscape Architects – The Futurist – A lush internal winter garden, offering a child-friendly place to play, meet, and relax, within the backdrop of the remains of the Futurist Cinema. A new internal structure provides band rehearsal space and the central atrium features a performance space, music shop and independent retail pop-ups and small units.
Plot 6: Parkside Building Design – Happen – a city centre making space that allows people to collaborate, exchange ideas, innovate, make stuff and make a living. Whether working on a product idea or carrying out some DIY due to lack of space back home, this will be a productive, social space. The building accommodates the whole design and making process with ground floor sales and exhibition area.
Plot 7: mBed Architects – Learn:Live:Love Liverpool – based within a 9-storey landmark adjacent to Lime Street station, Learn:Live:Love Liverpool, offers an information gateway for visitors to Liverpool. Facilities include events booking, transport info, locally produced gifts, bike hire and tours, left luggage & pop-up food stalls. Upper floors provide a budget capsule hotel and augmented reality learning/info space centred on the city.