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Academic CJ Lim eyes up Mersey Observatory

Bartlett professor CJ Lim could be in line to build his first project in the UK after being shortlisted in the RIBA’s Mersey Observatory competition.

The Malaysian-born designer’s practice, Studio 8 Architects, was named among the five finalists in the high-profile contest to design an 'exciting new landmark structure and visitor facility' for the riverside site – currently home to the long-abandoned Crosby Radar Tower.

Chosen from 92 entries, Lim lines up against Ellis Williams Architects, Duggan Morris Architects, London-based Phos Architects and Leeds’ Farrell and Clark.

According to the RIBA, the designs range from a ‘startlingly elegant V-shaped structure with a suspended viewing pod cantilevered… to a triangular wedge-shaped building extending out over the River Mersey.’

Tim Bownes, chief engineer of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, said: ‘One of these excellent concepts will create a facility that will give local residents and visitors from further afield a fresh, exciting view of the River Mersey and its place in the community and the wider region.

‘We are delighted that the transition of this location from an active part of the busy Port of Liverpool to an ideal observation post from which the public can watch the passing of international trade, has attracted so much interest and attention.’

Local people will also have a chance to comment on the proposals when they go on public display next month.

The shortlisted teams each receive a £6,000 honorarium and an eventual winner will be selected in March.

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