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Liverpool Construction Projects Developments being built on Merseyside



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Old April 11th, 2008, 10:01 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Villiers Terrace View Post
Yup, so do I, it's a fantastic piece of work.

We're losing it, and the city's losing itself for a heap of d-rate, cheap rubbish sanctioned by a bunch of d-rate officials..In this particular instance, thank Maghull.
Wait, that building behind is going as well?!

Jesus christ. This was bad enough already.

Thanks a lot to our spineless planning team, hope they're proud of all the buildings we've lost for cheap tat by smalltime developers recently. Useless wankers
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Old April 11th, 2008, 10:06 PM   #82
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Old April 11th, 2008, 10:06 PM   #83
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Old April 12th, 2008, 12:39 AM   #84
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If the building is not listed, there is little the planners can do to prevent it being demolished. From what has been written on this thread, it appears that English Heritage did inspect Josephine Butler house and considered it not worthy of being listed.

I'm not at all happy about the loss of JBH. Maybe it is not of any great architectural significance but I like its Dutch style gables, oriel window and natural stone facing and feel that such a building should only be demolished if there is a very pressing reason for it. I certainly don't approve of a developer saying they are restoring a building whilst they are actually demolishing it - if that is what is happening here.

However, let's not get carried away by hyperbole. It's the custom on this forum to lead into vitriolic attacks on planners and developers without really considering the facts. Do we really have justification for calling this design cheap tat?



The design has obviously been heavily influenced by the Philharmonic Hall opposite particularly in the shape of the corner block and the projecting line of windows at first and second floor level and there is nothing to suggest a warehouse. The heights and designs of the flanking blocks seem to have been chosen to match the adjacent buildings in Hope and Myrtle Streets.

As for the use of red brick. I think that is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. The objection to red brick came about because of the use of quite bland red house bricks in buildings such as the student accommodation at the end of Tithebarn Street. We seem to be extending that to almost any use of brick.

In the first place, brick is by no means a cheap cladding material as it has to be installed by skilled workers and is time-consuming. Far easier to clip into place a factory made cladding unit. In the second place, although it is hard to tell from this small rendering, the type of bricks used appear to be a deep russet brown, which I imagine could look very attractive in such a location and make a good contrast with the white window surrounds.

Having said all that, I admit that there is nothing about this design that really leaps out and grabs you - but maybe that is a good thing. Maybe the site calls for an understated building. There are at present two iconic buildings facing each other across that corner. The Art Nouveau Philharmonic Dining Rooms with its flamboyant stone and ironwork and the more sober Art Deco Philharmonic Hall. The third building is the rather uninspired former police headquarters.

The building being planned is going to be an apartment block. Does it really need to be iconic in the way that a building hosting a top cultural attraction needs to be? Would we expect the police headquarters to be as flamboyant as the Philharmonic Hotel?

As with all these buildings, we need to see them when completed rather than judge them on renders.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 02:12 AM   #85
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Wait, that building behind is going to?!

Jesus christ. Like this wasn't bad enough already.

Thanks a lot to our spineless planning team,hope they are proud of all the fine buildings lost in the city recently to be replaced by cheap tat by small-time developers looking for a profit. Useless wankers.
"Do you think we'd keep it just because it's got a nice staircase?!", was the exact quote.

It's actually one of my favorite buildings anywhere to be quite honest. A totally senseless, stupid and grievous decision on behalf of both developer and council.

I don't think Liverpool come to remember this emerging era of wanton destruction too kindly.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 02:17 AM   #86
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I admit that there is nothing about this design that really leaps out and grabs you - but maybe that is a good thing.
No Martin, maybe it is exactly as it presents itself- an artless heap of shit replacing as it does, one fine building and one rather nice building.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 01:23 PM   #87
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Martin, I don't think anyone is objecting to brick per se. It's the absence of ambition for this site that wrankles more than anything else. IMO this building (if it's ever built) will be less than the sum parts of the buildings it replaces. In other words there is a net loss to the quality of the built environment in this area.

In terms of its composition, materials aside, the bottom half looks like an ex-factory of some sorts without remotely being suggestive of Manhattanesque 'factory-chic'. The top half has the converted warehouse touch that didn't know where to stop in the window department and the part of the building that stands where JBH now stands looks as though it's referencing the student buildings on Grove Street.

Overall the building reminds me of one of the uglier bits of UCL, tucked away where you can't see it. I'll see if I can find a snap of the one I mean. In other words It looks as though it was designed 40 years ago. There's nothing new or of interest, in that design.

I don't agree with you that the former school for the blind (on the corner opposite the Phil) is uninspired. Scrubbed up it would look great. Are you sure you are not confusing this building with the former police HQ that was purchased by the Hope Street Hotel and is currently being incorporated into it?
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Old April 12th, 2008, 01:47 PM   #88
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Overall the building reminds me of one of the uglier bits of UCL, tucked away where you can't see it. I'll see if I can find a snap of the one I mean. In other words It looks as though it was designed 40 years ago. There's nothing new or of interest, in that design.
I think if we think "London Road- all the recent shite" we're on the right track as to the "quality" of this.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 02:11 PM   #89
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I suppose we can be grateful that they didn't opt for a building that looks like a random arrangement of Barratts liquorice Allsorts, although compared with this design it's a close call. I think the UK gets two or three design concepts from the mainland or the US (or elsewhere) a year and you just see variations on them wherever you go.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 02:35 PM   #90
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I suppose we can be grateful that they didn't opt for a building that looks like a random arrangement of Barratts liquorice Allsorts, although compared with this design it's a close call. I think the UK gets two or three design concepts from the mainland or the US (or elsewhere) a year and you just see variations on them wherever you go.
I'd be up to forming a human chain around the buildings to stop demolition, or at least delay it. Proper banner. Get the Echo up there. Film the ensuing hard-arm tactics etc etc..

If someone based more local would set something like this up, I'd be on the next train.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 04:54 PM   #91
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I think if we think "London Road- all the recent shite" we're on the right track as to the "quality" of this.
I think you've hit the nail on the head there. That's exactly what this new scheme reminds me of.

At the end of the day, we're losing two pretty high quality old buildings for one that is at best, mediocre and at worst, total dross.

People are not moaning for the sake of it. I could live with the loss of these two buildings if something with a relatively fresh looking design and constructed of high quality materials was going up in it's place but that is just not the case. Far from it.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #92
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Thanks to Tom for this photo. I actually like this building as well. It has an individual character and it does remind me of some of the lesser known mid-rise buildings in New York because it is a tall institutional building trying to pass itself off as a Georgian town house.

I suppose it would have been erected in the 20s or 30s but instead of embracing a Bauhaus modern industrial aesthetic, it uses the styling of a previous era. That little fake balcony looks quite preposterous on a building of that scale but the design has probably been chosen to fit in to the Georgian architecture of Hope Street. It is really the fire escape with its use of exposed concrete that saves the building from being totally bland. The elevation facing Myrtle Street with its exposed concrete frame seems to have been intended to abut an extension, on the site of Josephine Butler House, which was never built; it is hardly very attractive.

I would prefer the building not to be demolished but that does beg a number of questions. If we are wanting to retain the building solely because of its external appearance and its 'funky' fire escape, then surely we are going to need to see it and how do we do that without banning any construction (apart from say one or two storeys) on the adjacent car park.

I doubt very much that this building was ever intended to be seen at a distance and that when first built, there would have been another building where the car park is now.

The second question is just what we do with this building if we don't demolish it. Can it be easily converted into apartments or modern offices? I don't know the answer to that one but I expect that the issues arising would be complex. For example, would the floor to ceiling height of a hospital be suited to a modern apartment?
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Old April 12th, 2008, 11:33 PM   #93
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You could put a building in front of say, 4 storeys and still have a decent view of the fire escape.

I reckon the building would be fine for apartments, how is a typical hospital's floor to ceiling height vastly different from those in the upper storeys of an old warehouse building exactly? I'm not convinced that is an issue.

Even if not suitable, there are ways around this as long as the will is there. But it's just not. Maghull are not interested in preserving these buildings and also wanted to knock down half of the Hahnemann(sp?) building before it was listed which is nothing short of vandalism imo.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 11:37 PM   #94
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Martin, I don't think anyone is objecting to brick per se. It's the absence of ambition for this site that wrankles more than anything else. IMO this building (if it's ever built) will be less than the sum parts of the buildings it replaces. In other words there is a net loss to the quality of the built environment in this area.

In terms of its composition, materials aside, the bottom half looks like an ex-factory of some sorts without remotely being suggestive of Manhattanesque 'factory-chic'. The top half has the converted warehouse touch that didn't know where to stop in the window department and the part of the building that stands where JBH now stands looks as though it's referencing the student buildings on Grove Street.

Overall the building reminds me of one of the uglier bits of UCL, tucked away where you can't see it. I'll see if I can find a snap of the one I mean. In other words It looks as though it was designed 40 years ago. There's nothing new or of interest, in that design.

I don't agree with you that the former school for the blind (on the corner opposite the Phil) is uninspired. Scrubbed up it would look great. Are you sure you are not confusing this building with the former police HQ that was purchased by the Hope Street Hotel and is currently being incorporated into it?
OK but lets sort out the facts.

The building is mainly replacing a car park (at least on its principal elevations).

The windows clearly reference the tall windows of the Philharmonic Hall - since when did warehouses have windows like that?

As for the bottom half of the building. I'm not too sure where the idea of a factory comes from - it appears from the render to suggest a series of recessed shop fronts.

The building on the opposite corner of Hope Street from the new development is the old police headquarters, as I said in my earlier post.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 11:50 PM   #95
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You could put a building in front of say, 4 storeys and still have a decent view of the fire escape.

I reckon the building would be fine for apartments, how is a typical hospital's floor to ceiling height vastly different from those in the upper storeys of an old warehouse building exactly? I'm not convinced that is an issue.

Even if not suitable, there are ways around this as long as the will is there. But it's just not. Maghull are not interested in preserving these buildings and also wanted to knock down half of the Hahnemann(sp?) building before it was listed which is nothing short of vandalism imo.
A building of four storeys placed in the location of this development would almost certainly completely obscure the fire escape (except maybe for the top one or two flights) as the observor would be looking upwards from the opposite pavement.

You are making a number of statements there, which I don't believe you have the right to make. It is very easy to say 'the building would be fine for apartments'; 'Maghull are not interested in preserving these buildings'; 'this is nothing short of vandalism' etc. All those statements may be true but you need to have some knowledge of the structure and layout of these buildings before you can come out and say them with any degree of certainty.

I know I must come over as an apologist for everything developers do but I sometimes feel that they are unjustly accused of greed and insensitivity by people who would do exactly the same thing in their position.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #96
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OK but lets sort out the facts.

The building is mainly replacing a car park (at least on its principal elevations).

The windows clearly reference the tall windows of the Philharmonic Hall - since when did warehouses have windows like that?

As for the bottom half of the building. I'm not too sure where the idea of a factory comes from - it appears from the render to suggest a series of recessed shop fronts.

The building on the opposite corner of Hope Street from the new development is the old police headquarters, as I said in my earlier post.

The main fact as I stated in my earlier post is that this building detracts from the built environment in this area rather than adding to it. No one has ever looked at that carpark and said "What it really needs is a generic modern building!" The proposed new building will replace two more interesting buildings and an inoffensive car park. Not good.

We will have to agree to differ on our interpretation of what the building is referencing (intentionally or unintentionally) but warehouses and factories come in all shapes and sizes, and since when did 'bottom half equate to ground floor?

This is the building I am talking about as occupying the corner of Hope and Hardman - obviously the Hardman Street facade is a bit different from this. It is clearly identified as the former School for the Blind.

http://www.ntprints.com/pictures_631...Cathedral.html

In principle I don't object to this site being built on. I just hoped for better. In terms of getting rid of bad buildings on Hope Street - the former police HQ is now being made over into the Hope Street Hotel, the badly converted former student accomodation on the corner of Upper Hope Place and Hope Street is receiving a more sympathetic makeover. This now leaves the former, badly maintained, polly building built in the 60s. If ever a building in Hope Street was crying out for a rebuild this is it! I think LIPA has aquired it but they seem to be taking their time doing anything with it.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 10:48 AM   #97
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I know I must come over as an apologist for everything developers do but I sometimes feel that they are unjustly accused of greed and insensitivity by people who would do exactly the same thing in their position.


A somewhat vapid generalisation about others posting on this thread!
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Old April 13th, 2008, 04:15 PM   #98
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Ignoring the demolition aspect for a moment, and focusing purely on the proposed building. Is this not one of those occasions where no matter what was is suggested for the site, it would displease a sizable group of people because of it's surroundings? Design it conservatively (as it has been), and it's not befitting of the area. Build it a touch more extravagantly, and it would likely be accused of over-shadowing the existing architecture nearby. As such, were the designers not met with an almost impossible task of designing a building that would appease both sides of the arguments as exhibited on this thread?

Although the proposed building is not anything remotely iconic, it isn't completely bland, or worse offensive either. As such, given the difficulties the site exhibits, perhaps on this occasion, we should accept 'OK', so long as we don't do it all the time, and demand 'special' buildings in other locations where they aren't so devisive? If we do this, should we not still end up with a well-rounded collection of buildings in our city?
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Old April 13th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #99
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Good points. Sometimes a bit of in-fill is all that is needed, and in a sensitive and difficult location, with a limited budget, it is probably the only sensible solution.

I can't get too upset about any of this, the buildings to be lost are not in any way special (they are nice, and obviously old and querky, but hard to see why they have to be preserved if the market won't support the cost) and the proposed replacements don't look at all bad to me.

As regards hospital conversions, I'm not sure. Anthrax spores were found in old horse-hair matting within the rendering in some London Underground stations, and some germs can survive, dormant, for an an awful long time within otherwise inert environments. You'd want to be confident that your sparkling new black granite kitchen tops were not teeming with C-Deficile, that the door of your SMEG fridge wasn't slowly being colonised by an invisible film of MRSA, or that dormant meningitis or tuberculosis germs wouldn't float out of the wall if you drilled a hole to put a picture up.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 05:34 PM   #100
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The main fact as I stated in my earlier post is that this building detracts from the built environment in this area rather than adding to it. No one has ever looked at that carpark and said "What it really needs is a generic modern building!" The proposed new building will replace two more interesting buildings and an inoffensive car park. Not good.

We will have to agree to differ on our interpretation of what the building is referencing (intentionally or unintentionally) but warehouses and factories come in all shapes and sizes, and since when did 'bottom half equate to ground floor?

This is the building I am talking about as occupying the corner of Hope and Hardman - obviously the Hardman Street facade is a bit different from this. It is clearly identified as the former School for the Blind.

http://www.ntprints.com/pictures_631...Cathedral.html

In principle I don't object to this site being built on. I just hoped for better. In terms of getting rid of bad buildings on Hope Street - the former police HQ is now being made over into the Hope Street Hotel, the badly converted former student accomodation on the corner of Upper Hope Place and Hope Street is receiving a more sympathetic makeover. This now leaves the former, badly maintained, polly building built in the 60s. If ever a building in Hope Street was crying out for a rebuild this is it! I think LIPA has aquired it but they seem to be taking their time doing anything with it.
Babaloo, I won't drag this on for the simple reason that, as I said in my post on Friday, I am not **** a hoop about this new building and I am not happy about the fate of Josephine Butler House. However, I'm not so convinced that this is a bad development for the area and, whilst a car park may be inoffensive, it is hardly the most fitting use of urban land.

Tom made an interesting point on the Mann Island thread in response to Liverpolitan's condemnation of the new apartments being built there. He felt, as I do, that what we are getting may not be the ideal development for that site but we do recognise the need to develop the city and we can't always wait around for the perfect development to arrive. That can be easily misrepresented to mean 'any junk will do' but what is really being said is that not every development can be shortlisted for the Stirling Prize. As I said on Friday, I don't believe that an iconic building is necessarily the best way of developing the site.

I like your catch all argument about warehouses and factories. You do realise that any new building in Liverpool or anywhere else for that matter could be said to resemble a warehouse by that argument? What about the Philharmonic Hall itself - couldn't that be easily mistaken for a warehouse or factory in the Art Deco style?

I haven't been up to Hope Street for some time. Next time I do, I will have a look at that building on the Hope Street / Hardman Street corner. I have always thought that to be the former police headquarters. Maybe I'm wrong, if so, I apologise.
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