Donia Khafaga joins the team
Donia graduated from Manchester School of Architecture with a Bachelor degree.
Donia reveres design in its many creative forms, she explores new methods, acquiring knowledge and testing limits.
She is passionate about creative writing and visual arts.
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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Liverpool College Completed
Kier has completed work on a £3.7m Key Stage 1 block at Liverpool College as part of the Liverpool Schools Investment Programme.
The development, designed by K2 Architects, which has been prolific in local schools projects, will allow the school to grow its headcount by 196 over the next few years, helping to tackle oversubscription.
Liverpool College, which takes pupils aged from 4 – 19, converted from a private school to a non-fee paying academy in 2013. Since then it has seen a massive growth in demand for places, with more than 400 applications for 84 reception class places.
The new building replaces an overcrowded Victorian villa with small classrooms and enjoys views across the fields on its 28-acre campus.
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said: “Liverpool College is a brilliant school and as a result is hugely oversubscribed, which is why I am pleased we have been able to invest in the site to give more pupils the opportunity to attend.
“The funding we have made available to Liverpool College and other schools in the city is making a massive difference to pupils and staff, enabling them to teach in better surroundings using the latest equipment.”
The LSIP programme has seen 22 schools rebuilt and refurbished over the last five years using council and government cash, the city council said, with more than 14,000 students directly benefitting, while 200 young people have worked ion apprenticeships on the sites.
Liverpool’s £2bn Knowledge Quarter Gateway
Liverpool City Council has appointed K2 Architects, GVA How Planning, and Planit-IE to develop a masterplan for the Knowledge Quarter Gateway.
The partnership will now create a Spatial Regeneration Framework for the Gateway, which covers more than 56 acres. It is hoping to form a draft masterplan for consultation towards the end of this year, which could be adopted by the council’s cabinet in early 2019.
Key issues will include how best to redevelop the Lime Street area around the Adelphi Hotel, Central Station and Mount Pleasant; dovetailing the proposals from Liverpool John Moores University at Copperas Hill; plans for the Fabric District and London Road; Merseytravel’s plans for Central Station and private sector schemes such as Circus Liverpool at the former Lewis’s building.
The team will also include a number of supporting consultants including Mott Macdonald on transport, GVA on property advisory services, Rob Burns on heritage and Enfusion on strategic environmental assessment.
The council recently acquired Central Station shopping centre and is overseeing public realm proposals for St George’s Plateau. It has also set out an ambition to redevelop the Mount Pleasant car park area.
KQ Liverpool is classed as a Mayoral Development Zone, with its main project on site being the £1bn Paddington Village scheme.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The Knowledge Quarter Gateway is vital to this city’s economic future and such is the scale of its potential it will be a huge employer for generations to come.
“This gateway project is now the final piece in the jigsaw to connect the site to the rest of the city centre and complete the wider regeneration of Lime Street, Mount Pleasant and Brownlow Hill. Its impact cannot be underestimated.”
Mark Davies, director at K2 Architects, said: “The KQ Liverpool vision is for a new epicentre that will break down the historical boundaries and repurpose the magnificent heritage to reconnect the Gateway to the city, Knowledge Quarter and the waterfront. The KQ Gateway is about ambition, not acccepting the norm and going the extra mile.”
Once approved by the council’s cabinet, the SRF will be adopted as a Spatial Planning Document to guide all future planning applications in the area and provide developers with detailed information of design and build issues including height, scale and massing of buildings.
Colin Sinclair, chief executive of KQ Liverpool, concluded: “KQ represents one of the greatest development opportunities in the UK and, alongside Paddington Village, will have a major impact on the city’s economy, creating thousands of jobs, in science, tech, health, education, retail and leisure.
“The SRF will truly allow us to plan a world-class development, enabling Liverpool to continue to compete with any city in Europe.”
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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
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 https://www.fpliverpool.co.uk/ and http://liverpool.gov.uk/festivalgard
Metquarter follows foodhall trend with latest occupier
Queensberry, the owner of Liverpool’s Metquarter, has signed a foodhall operator to take 16,000 sq ft within the redeveloped shopping centre, divided across 10 kitchens serving a variety of street food.
The occupier is yet to be named, but according to Stuart Harris, commercial director at Queensberry, while the concept takes its inspiration from the leaders in the ever-growing foodhall trend, Altrincham Market and Mackie Mayor, the operator is not the Nick Johnson-led team.
Harris said the move was all about “creating identity” for the Metquarter, particularly to differentiate the scheme from the nearby Liverpool One.
“We want a mix of brands, including local retailers, mixed in with higher end occupiers such as Hugo Boss. The foodhall is all about creating that variety, as well as flexibility of offer.”
The 130,000 sq ft Metquarter opened in 2006 but has struggled to compete with the much larger Liverpool One. The redevelopment will see 20,000 sq ft of restaurant space added, including new terraced areas, as Queensberry seeks to make it more of a leisure destination.
The project will bring restaurant brands to the Victoria Street end of Metquarter with luxury retail concentrated on the lower level and the front of the centre.
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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