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Arup's doomed Liverpool garden festival dome set to go at last

The former centrepiece of the long-abandoned International Garden Festival in Liverpool site - Arup Associates' domed-exhibition hall - is finally being demolished.

The dilapidated steel and polycarbonate structure, which was built in 1984 as the central attraction of the festival park, is making way for a £250 million mixed-use development by Carey Jones.

Backed by developer Langtree McLean, Carey Jones' scheme will deliver more than 1,300 homes - including 66 town houses - as well as retail and commercial units on the 36ha site ( below).

The planning application, which has just been submitted to Liverpool City Council, also includes plans to restore the Oriental Gardens to their former glory.

Clearance of the site has not been easy because of potentially explosive methane gas which has built up from the landfill used to landscape the original parkland.

Meanwhile, demolition experts working on pulling down the dome have encountered problems due to subterranean tension wires.

Once demolished, it is understood the scrap will be shipped to China.

Despite the latest proposals from Carey Jones, rumours persist that Daniel Libeskind is hoping to build his ambitious rainforest project on the park site - the team behind the scheme have already visited the site twice and discussion continues with the council.

by Richard Waite

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