Categories: All Education Wins Team Culture Opinion Press

K2 welcomes new Technologist


Faye Doyle joins the team

Faye joins us from LJMU with a first-class degree.

She is motivated and knowledgeable, with a wide understanding of technical design and problem-solving.

Faye is already developing her project management skills and has been given the responsibility to lead on several projects.

University of Liverpool


Liverpool Uni considers final three for £1bn estates plan

The University of Liverpool has narrowed its search for a masterplanner for its £1bn estates strategy to three design teams; BDP, Feilden Clegg Bradley with Planit-IE, and K2 with Reiach & Hall.

The university invited a longlist including Sheppard Robson, Stride Treglown and Fairhursts Design Group to bid for the project earlier this year, to work up a framework which would translate the 2026 strategy published last year into a deliverable estates plan.

Negotiations are now moving forward, and the winner is due to be selected early in the New Year.

The university launched its 2026 Strategy in April 2016, laying out “visions and aspirations” for the next decade of growth.

The strategy outlined an aim for the university to be world-leading in specific research areas, such as advanced materials, infectious disease and personalised health.

Specific use of the university’s estate in delivering this plan is yet to be defined, and the selected architect is expected to advise on the most efficient use of the university’s central campus in Liverpool, including whether to demolish, refurbish or develop new-build facilities.

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Albert Dock Welcome Pavilion


Albert Dock could be transformed by new welcome building

A planning application for a new Welcome Pavilion to be built at Albert Dock Liverpool – the first phase of a masterplan to upgrade the attraction to meet the evolving needs of future visitors to the Grade I listed estate – has been submitted to Liverpool City Council.

Gower Street Estates, freeholders of Albert Dock, propose a glass structure on Salthouse Quay, covering a total floor space of 400m2 (including outside canopy space), that will not only act as a welcome, information and event space, but also celebrate and showcase the history and heritage of Albert Dock with curated content through multi-media platforms.

The scheme also includes improvements to the public realm of the area to open up views of the UNESCO World Heritage waterfront and provide a more pedestrian-friendly arrival space for visitors. Importantly, the scheme will reconnect the middle ground between Albert Dock, Liverpool ONE and the wider city context.

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Knowledge Quarter Vision


Knowledge Quarter Vision unveiled at MIPIM UK

An ambitious new vision has been unveiled for Liverpool’s £2bn Knowledge Quarter scheme, which includes plans for a major public square in the heart of the city centre and a futuristic green transport link.

The development team behind KQ Liverpool has outlined plans to overhaul the crossroads next to the Adelphi Hotel and former Lewis’s Building to create ‘Lime Square’. This involves creating a major new public square connecting the Knowledge Quarter with the retail district.

They have also proposed a “new high-tech, eco-friendly transport system” with the working title of the ‘Lime Line’ running up Brownlow Hill from the city centre to the universities, hospitals and Paddington Village development. This would connect right through from Edge Hill station to the Lime Street and Central stations, with a potential second phase running to the waterfront, cruise terminal, and conference and exhibition centres.

Colin Sinclair, chief executive of KQ Liverpool, said: “Creating a world-class innovation district and making that space more accessible to everyone go hand in hand, which is why we have unveiled these two visionary frameworks simultaneously today. KQ Liverpool has made huge strides in the past year and we are confident that our world-leading strengths in fighting infection and disease, materials chemistry and high-performance and cognitive computing, in education, health, science and technology, as well as our superb cultural assets including the cathedrals, the Everyman and Liverpool Philharmonic on Hope Street can help us to attract leading academics, doctors, scientists and innovators from across the globe.”

Mark Davies, architect director at K2, said: “Global cities don’t stand still. For us to maintain momentum, it’s crucial we move forward with a unified sense of place and an identity and aspiration that applies across the vibrant patchwork of individual districts, which naturally bleed into one other to create a coherent whole. Lime Square will connect the retail district with Knowledge Quarter Liverpool. It’ll become the new epicentre of the city.”

The KQ Liverpool regeneration scheme involves creating a major new 450-acre urban innovation district in Liverpool. It spans a huge area mostly to the east of the city centre behind Lime Street station, encompassing the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Sensor City, and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

Full article can be read

Knowledge Quarter Guest Blog


What can Liverpool’s brand learn from Oslo?

I recently had the good fortune to visit Oslo as part of a fact-finding trip for a developer client in the tech start-up market. Ascending from the busy National Theatre Station underground, I noticed that the typically overpowering drone of traffic that usually accompanies a bustling capital city was conspicuously absent. Instead, I was experiencing the voices and energy of Oslo’s people. On closer inspection, it appeared that almost everyone was driving an electric car, which is surprising when one takes into account that this is a nation built on the profits of oil.

Today everyone perceives Scandinavia as the go-to place for all the big moves in the quality of life agenda. So as an architect, I like to travel there a lot for inspiration. But, what is often forgotten, is that the popularity of the Nordics is a pretty recent phenomenon.

Until the discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970s, Oslo was suffering the same fate as the rest of post-industrial Europe’s declining ports. Perhaps surprising to most people, noise, pollution and poor health and even poverty were the ever-present headlines of the nation’s political agenda during the 80s and 90s. On paper, oil was making the country one of the richest on earth, but take this away, and the state was performing little better than anyone else. However, by the eve of the millennium, the country’s economic policymakers had succeeded in reimagining Norway as a nation at the forefront of progressive and sustainable thinking. Education has played a big part, there is now an emerging generation of forward-thinking digital-tech entrepreneurs not wedded to the oil industry. If you google young Norwegian entrepreneurs, you won’t find any Zuckerberg’s, just lots and lots of small enterprises doing tiny innovative things that when combined and read together are inspirationally game-changing to ordinary people’s lives.

During the week, we visited co-working space MESH where we met typically Norwegian tech start-ups reMarkable, No Isolation and Motitech – all working towards tackling issues such as the environment and mental wellbeing in new and engaging ways (Google them, it’s worth it!).

Oslo has capitalised on this revolution of small moves driving big changes by repackaging post-industrial Oslo as the world’s first zero-carbon city by 2030. Its European Green Capital 2019 status validates progress towards this goal on a world stage. People are often surprised that it has taken so long to attain it, however they have achieved a lot with branding in a small amount of time.

The tourist website plays heavily on the needs of the ecotourist. You can eat at award-winning organic food restaurants, sleep in low-carbon hotels, play in environmentally friendly greenspaces and travel fossil fuel free in a variety of electro-mobile modes of transport.

So, what’s my point? Well, Liverpool may not be as wealthy on paper as Oslo but it has faced and is facing similar modern social challenges. Our city is young and full of lots and lots of inspirational enterprises currently working under the radar, which we should be giving collective expression to in our city’s brand.

There is also an enormous opportunity in the city’s Knowledge Quarter (KQ Liverpool) to cultivate a modern and progressive ethos for a significant part of the city centre’s urban fabric – the proposals for The Spine building are an encouraging start.

Like all awards, being European Green Capital is validation that you are doing something that the world needs to take notice of. Liverpool is a great brand that represents an ethos and worldview, which is attractive to people from across the globe who embrace the brand as part of their own identity. They express to those around them, that it is who they are and what they believe in, so surely it is about time our brand got a little smarter and greener?

Kevin Horton, Architectural Director

Investment partner sought for Festival Park


Liverpool City Council seeking investment partner at MIPIM 2018

Liverpool City Council is using March 2018’s international MIPIM conference in Cannes to focus efforts around key projects and is aiming to have a development partner in place for its £700m Festival Park.

The large-scale project is running behind previously, and perhaps over-optimistically announced council deadlines; Liverpool had said it was hoping to have an investor in place by the end of 2017.

However, a call for expressions of interest in Festival Park is now expected to be issued via the Homes & Communities Agency’s DPP3 framework in the next four weeks, with the partner secured in time for Cannes.

Contractors and housebuilders on the framework include Galliford Try, Interserve, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Wates, and Willmott Partnership Homes.

The masterplan for the 90-acre former Festival Gardens site was approved by Liverpool’s cabinet in June 2017, aiming to create “a spectacular £700m riverside suburb”.

Designed by K2 Architects, the redevelopment could deliver up to 2,500 new homes, 500,000 sq ft of commercial and leisure floorspace, a new ferry terminal and a major waterpark attraction.

Liverpool City Council’s Regeneration department will be handling investment inquiries for Festival Park Liverpool. For more information please visit and

Guest Viewpoint: Liverpool at MIPIM

Metquarter construction started


Simons starts work on Metquarter revamp

Lincoln-based retail specialist Simons Group was appointed to construct the scheme in December, with Gleeds appointed the agent for the scheme after initially being brought on board as cost manager.

Simons Group fought off competition from rival bidder Graham to land the project.

The programme of works includes extensive remodelling of the interior to extend and open up the available space by 20,000 sq ft, as well as a comprehensive overhaul of the associated services to accommodate the new floorplan.

The works will also include breaking through the external façade to create balconied areas and terraces, in a bid to enliven the surrounding streetscape and improve the visitor experience.

The project by Queensberry Real Estate is expected to complete in August and will include an 18,000 sq ft four-screen boutique cinema by Everyman as well as additional restaurant space.

The 130,000 sq ft shopping centre was launched in 2006 as a high-end retail destination, with current tenants including Hugo Boss, LK Bennett, and Jo Malone.

Once complete, the overhaul will bring the total amount of food and drink space in the development to 20,000 sq ft.

Sara Boonham, head of retail developments at Gleeds, said: “Queensberry has a vision to completely revitalise and reposition Metquarter as the premium leisure and retail destination in Liverpool’s city centre and we are delighted to be able to bring our experience to the fore and make that vision a reality.”

The full article can be found

Baltic Creative


Baltic Creative

Baltic Creative Community Interest Company has acquired the 19th-century Norfolk Street warehouse from Liverpool City Council, with plans in place to fully restore the building to house 17,000 sq ft of office space. The community interest company has acquired a 125-year long lease hold on the warehouse on Norfolk Street and and adjoining two-storey building on Simpson Street with Liverpool City Council.

Baltic Creative has secured £2.6m of funding through the Charity Bank and the European Regional Development Fund to finance the purchase and restoration of the building. The company now plans to restore the derelict warehouse over a 10-month period to provide 17,000 sq ft of workspace, as well as a public café on the ground floor.

K2 Architects has been appointed to design the scheme, while a building contractor will be named next month. It is estimated the building will support around 30 companies and 150 full-time jobs once the restoration completes in September 2018.

Mark Lawler, managing director of Baltic Creative CIC said, “This process has been a long time in the making and it has been the most challenging acquisition that I have worked on in my career to date. Liverpool’s tech sector is booming, with figures showing that digital jobs in the north are growing at 10 times the rate of non-digital jobs. Here at Baltic Creative we are witnessing a huge demand for dedicated tech space and we’re committed to transforming 61-65 Norfolk Street into a scheme which will support the growth of digital businesses.”

Kevin Horton, Architect Director at K2 added: “What ourselves and Baltic Creative have planned for 61-65 Norfolk Street is entirely original and will become nothing less than a world-leading space for creative and digital businesses. It’s important to note that, whilst part of the building is structurally unsound with sections in considerable disrepair, it does have notable architectural and aesthetic merit. Therefore we, along with Baltic Creative, are passionate about maintaining the historic fabric of the building and intend to preserve as much of the original construction as is structurally possible.”

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