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Defeated Dome designers' star role in Liverpool

The design team which narrowly missed out on developing the Millennium Dome for Japanese bank Nomura has regrouped and is bidding to develop a mammoth site twice the size in Liverpool.

The North Star Consortium - using consultants including Patrick Davies Architecture, Fitch and Conran Design Group - has made it onto a shortlist of seven firms bidding to redevelop the 14.6ha Kings Waterfront site in Liverpool. Others on the list submitting detailed designs this week are thought to be producing similar mixed-use ideas, but one of the teams wants to build a new 55,000-seater stadium designed by HOK Sport and Ellis Williams for Everton Football Club.

Davies, who last week unveiled his unused designs for the Dome in the AJ, is already building a series of 200 housing units adjoining the site for the Liverpool Housing Trust, Riverside Housing Association and Morrison Homes. He said his ideas for the important waterfront site masterplan are an attempt to mirror the grain of neighbouring areas and include the majority of the site - 32 per cent - given over to a wide mixture of housing types. Other elements of the £186 million plan include a superstore with a 70m span roof, a health club, a theatre, a conference centre, a multiplex, offices, bars and restaurants, three-star and tele-hotels, live-work units, and large-scale multi-storey car parks to serve the site and the much-visited Albert Dock next door.

Development manager for English Partnerships Eliot Lewis-Ward said the scheme would do battle with six others, whose designs are as yet unpublicised, and that a preferred developer should be announced in the summer after public exhibitions towards the end of this month in Liverpool.

The other teams are: Bouygues Immobiler, using architects Valode et Piste; Houston Securities - SFX and Everton FC, which is proposing the new stadium; Ician - a consortium including AMEC and British Waterways using Urban Strategies, Arup and BDP; local developer THI with Chester-based practice Ormrod and Partners; Wilson Bowden using Benoy; and Gallagher/Richardsons, working with Carey Jones of Leeds.

The North Star Consortium includes lead developer and project manager Fiortho, Arrowcroft - owner of the Albert Dock - and JC Decaux, which proposes to use street furniture designed by Phillipe Starck, Norman Foster and Davies.

Detailed submissions were due in yesterday. 'We are open-minded and are certainly going to entertain all the ideas, 'said Lewis-Ward.

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