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-While slamming RMJM's Liverpool skyscraper scheme

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CABE has slated RMJM's high-rise Princes Dock proposals in Liverpool, branding the scheme 'joyless' and 'disappointing'.

The commission's design review panel said that it was 'not convinced by the quality' of the planned development - dubbed Merseyside's 'mini Manhattan' - and was unable to support the 36-storey, mixed-use skyscraper project.

At the top of the list of CABE's 'serious reservations' was the proposed position of the towering £80 million scheme, which will sit in Liverpool's World Heritage Site buffer zone.

The panel said that the architect had not given enough information about the possible impact of the 115m-high scheme on the surrounding area, and the site fell outside the city's designated northern cluster of tall buildings.

In terms of the project's design quality, the commission was equally damning.

'We find little to admire in the architectural form of the scheme, which appears to us to be joyless,' said the report.

'The visualisations suggest to us an office design rather than a mixed-use building, incorporating hotel and residential uses.'

The criticism did not end there for the development, which was unveiled by the Mersey Property Company last month.

According to the review panel: 'The scheme [failed] to provide public spaces of the highest quality.

'It is extremely disappointing to note that the opportunity to provide a universal and inclusive space between Bath Street and the dockside has been sacrificed to the provision of car-parking.'

RMJM was unavailable for comment.

The full CABE report can be found at: www.cabe.org.uk

by Richard Waite

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