Categories: All Education Wins Team Culture Opinion Press

K2 welcomes new Senior Architectural Technologist


Jonathan Passman joins the team

Jonathan has a strong technical background with over 15 years’ experience.

He has excellent technical detailing skills and can produce high-quality architectural drawing packages and specifications whilst working to tight project programmes.

Passman said: “I am thrilled to be joining at a time when the practice is positively expanding. I am looking forward to growing with the company and bringing new energy and ideas to the table.’’


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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First look at Liverpool’s revamped Metquarter


Planning submitted to transform Metquarter

Retail asset manager Queensberry has selected K2 Architects to reposition the 130,000 sq ft Metquarter in Liverpool as a premium dining centre. The first images of how Liverpool’s Metquarter could look following its multi-million pound revamp have been revealed.

The Metquarter’s integration with Victoria Street and the new multi-storey car park currently being constructed on the road is central to Queensberry’s plans for boosting footfall.

A document included with the planning application says: “The Victoria Street entrance from the upper ground will become more prominent over the next couple of years following the council’s upgrade of Victoria Street and the opening of the new multi-storey car park.

“Part of the Metquarter proposals look at creating cantilevered terraces from the new restaurants fronting Victoria Street to help animate and connect better with the internal and external spaces, in turn generating the offer and increasing footfall.”

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Festival Park vision unveiled


Liverpool seeks investment partner for Festival Park

Liverpool City Council has unveiled the next stage of its vision for the former International Festival Gardens site today at MIPIM – Europe’s largest property expo in Cannes, France.

The 90 acre site, which lies just 10 minute drive south of the city centre, is promoted as Festival Park Liverpool. The key area is the 28 acre northern development zone – one of Liverpool’s biggest investment opportunities over the next decade with the potential to create up to 2,500 new homes. They will be part of a mixed-use leisure and retail scheme alongside a new public open space on the Southern Grasslands.

The city council, which took control of the site last year, appointed K2 architects to create a draft masterplan and held a public consultation to gauge feedback about making it a major visitor and cultural destination.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said, “We need a partner, or partners, to help realise the vision and create a cultural garden suburb which will have no equal in the UK. The site is fully owned by the city council and we see Festival Park as a key component of Liverpool’s future prosperity, addressing the need for more quality homes and complementing what the city is already achieving at the Knowledge Quarter and Liverpool Waters.”

An updated masterplan is to be submitted to the council’s Cabinet in the next six weeks and will serve as a development framework for future planning applications.

Following MIPIM, at which Liverpool has sent its largest ever delegation, a set of land surveys and environmental assessments will also be undertaken before site excavation works begin. There is a current outline planning consent for a 1,380 unit residential development on part of the site, valid until December 2022.

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

MIPIM 2018 steering group


MIPIM 2018 steering group

MIPIM gathers the most influential international property players from all sectors for four days of networking, learning and transaction. Liverpool will be attending for the fifth time in its current form in 2018. Building on the success of the 2017 attendance Liverpool aims to keep growing and developing its presence year on year.

Liverpool’s approach to MIPIM is driven by a private sector steering group and supported by Mayor of Liverpool and the City Council. Team Liverpool is led and project managed by Rachael Bampton-Aiken of Marketing Liverpool and includes: Chris Brown, Director of Marketing Liverpool, Ellen Cutler, Liverpool Vision’s Director of Investment, Sean Beech, Head of Deloitte’s Liverpool, Garry Banks, Director at ARUP, Ian Pollitt, Director at Peel Holdings, Colin Sinclair, Executive Director of The Liverpool Knowledge Quarter and Mark Davies, Director of K2 Architects.

Being a part of the steering group has given K2 the opportunity to work alongside Northern Powerhouse partners and key city partners to deliver a full programme for the Liverpool delegation and for the city. We are committed to delivering a programme of events both on and off stand for all our delegates to attend and network. The Liverpool delegation in 2018 will represent both innovation and collaborative working, whilst showcasing the city’s key investment opportunities.

The event will take place on 13–16 March 2018, at Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France.

Unity Theatre


Unity Theatre

The redevelopment of the city centre venue is the first major work to be carried out since 1998 and promises to open up Unity Theatre’s spaces to a greater number, and broader mix of people, with major alterations being made to ‘public spaces’ such as the entrance, foyer and first floor bar. Improved soundproofing between Unity Theatre’s two performance spaces will allow both venues to be used together more often and, as a result, create more opportunities for work and artist development, as well as increasing revenue.

Chris Bliss, Chair of Unity Theatre’s board and Estate Director at Liverpool ONE said “It’s incredibly exciting, after years of dreaming, scoping, fundraising and planning, to see the transformation of Unity Theatre set in motion. It means that in a matter months, we will see our collective vision of a 21st century theatre, innovatively designed by local architects K2, come to life. Once complete, Unity Theatre will be able to play an even bigger, more ambitious role in Liverpool, the region and beyond.”

Of the continued success of the #BuildUnityBetter fundraising campaign, Artistic Director and CEO Matthew Linley said “We’re all really grateful for the financial support we have received for Build Unity Better. It’s fantastic that the national development agency for the arts, our local council leaders, national grant-making trusts, local funders, corporate partners and scores of individual donors, have all recognised the vital contribution Unity Theatre does and will continue to make to local people, Liverpool City region, and the regional and UK theatre landscape.”

While the building is out of operation, Unity Theatre will still be bringing exceptional performance to Liverpool. The Out of Space season is taking shows out and about to venues across Merseyside, including Liverpool Cathedral, Make Liverpool, Bluecoat, Capstone Theatre, and The Atkinson in Southport.

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Iceland Trekking Cabins


Honourable mention received in international design competition

Awarded by one of the world’s leading architecture competition organisers – Hong Kong based BeeBreeders in partnership with property developers CDS NORD challenged architects from all over the world to devise an exciting and sustainable concept for a series of trekking cabins which would be a distinctive expression of Iceland’s natural landscape.

Led by Jack Farrell and Rob Jones of K2, who collaborated with ARUP to create a concept that was inspired by Iceland’s early creation.

Designer Jack Farrell said “Its rugged form references the turbulent story of Iceland’s creation along the Mid Atlantic Ridge as it rises from the landscape. Its outer skin mimics the cell structure of indigenous moss species, which have naturally evolved to thrive in this often inhospitable landscape – giving it a unique form and aesthetic which embodies the character of the country.”

Architect Director Kevin Horton said “K2 and ARUP saw Gos as a fantastic design opportunity which together they could open up, challenge and explore their design skills. We learnt new things and developed new relationships, in a spectacular country, unique in climate and rich in heritage. Without competitions like this, the world would be a poorer place…”

The competition winners can be viewed here

MIPIM 2017 blog


It’s Liverpool

Once again, we returned to promote Liverpool, our largest delegation to-date; 36 Partners, totalling 88 delegates. We were joined by the leaders of Wirral, who teamed up with Liverpool for the first time. This year there was a genuine feeling that something ‘big’ was unfolding before us.

Following the opening of the stand on Tuesday morning, we launched Festival Park a waterfront development which differentiates itself from the rest of the UK market. It has defied the sceptics and offered a vision that has captured the imagination of the City, with global investors looking at the site for the first time, watch this space…

The Knowledge Quarter, Paddington Village, announced the arrival of the new £35M Proton Cancer Treatment Centre and Liverpool Waters released their Central Dock vision.   It felt like we were no longer relying on our great cultural identity, but enhancing it, with a new-found confidence in regeneration, innovation, science and health.

In every corner of the Palais, there was a real buzz surrounding Liverpool. I attribute this to a true sense of togetherness from all partners, underpinned by a common theme; to promote the City Region, under the global brand of Liverpool.

This year we were asked to design the Liverpool stand. It enabled investors, delegates, property professionals and visiting cities to maximise the space (hola to our Spanish friends from Malaga who had a taste for Liverpool Gin). From serving the best coffee in ‘the bunker’ (thank you Bean) to the informal break out spaces on the tiered seating and a meeting room that allowed conversations and handshakes to follow, deal done!

No need this year to raid the Belgian bar for a quality drink, with Liverpool Gin and Craft beer flowing at the stand, it was the perfect end to a ‘hard days night’ in Cannes.

Retail Week Interiors Awards


Shortlisted for two Retail Week Interiors Awards

Although our designs at As Nature Intended, Marble Arch, didn’t win, we were proud to make the shortlist for Best Convenience Store and The ITAB UK Food and Supermarket Design of the Year.

The task of reimagining the brand was taken up by K2 Architects in the summer of 2011 when the company began to rethink its strategy. The process began with a rebrand and pop-up store at Westfield Shopping Centre, quickly followed by a 3,500sft high street store in Shoreditch. The 5,000sft store on Edgware Road, Marble Arch represents the culmination of three years of design, feedback and refinement, which has allowed annual turnover to increase.

The brand is all about health, wellbeing and organically sourced products arranged into two categories – food and beauty. Subtle shifts in materials, articulation of space and lighting helped to separate and integrate products as the consumer moved through the space.

Spaces were opened up and signage stripped back to allow the environment to speak for itself and give consumers the freedom to determine their own personal choices.

Straightforward materials were selected that aligned with consumers’ philosophies of authenticity, which for consumers is rooted in the traditional high street of the butcher, baker, greengrocer and chemist. Ceramic tiles, whitewashed roughcast brickwork, stripped back floors are augmented with bric-a-brac sourced from local flea markets, hark back to a time when shoppers were less cynical and the experience seemed more authentic.

The project was the biggest single investment to date for the brand with a budget of £500,000. The brand and previous stores are proving to be a huge commercial success. Most recently we were commissioned to refurbish their anchor store in Chiswick. A testament to how consumers respond to a well-designed shopping environment and innovative product range.