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The Bluecoat by Biq with Austin:Smith-Lord and Donald Insall Associates

School Lane, Liverpool L1

The Grade I listed Bluecoat Chambers, the oldest buildings in Liverpool, have been carefully restored with the addition of a new performing-arts wing, housing a 200-seat performance space and several well-appointed art galleries.

The new accommodation wing restores the H-form composition of the original building and provides the Bluecoat with a new urban presence. The carefully detailed brickwork and tough finishes of the new wing are a subtle interpretation of the existing building. The artists’ studios in the existing buildings, designed to accommodate multiple art forms, are monastic and simple.

Sadly shortly after the scheme was visited and given an RIBA Award, it was badly damaged by fire.

Client: The Bluecoat, Liverpool
Contractor: Kier North West
Structural Engineer:Techniker
Services Engineer: Ernest Griffiths, Wirral
Contract Value: £7m
Date of completion: February 2000 (occupied throughout)
Gross internal area: 4750

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