Broadway Malyan has unveiled this extraordinary £75 million scheme, which will occupy part of the hugely contentious Fourth Grace site in Liverpool.
The mixed-use project is being backed by Countryside Properties and Neptune Developments - the developers originally behind Will Alsop's failed 'Cloud' proposal, which was controversially pulled by the city council in July 2004.
In the meantime Danish-practice 3XN has managed to secure planning permission for a new waterfront building to house the Museum of Liverpool. However the rear of the Mann Island site next to the city's famous Three Graces has remained untouched - until now.
The new scheme, which is believed to have received CABE's blessing, will create 379 homes, as well as 13,000m 2
of offices and 7,300m 2
of leisure space in three black granite-clad buildings.
There are also plans for a winter garden on the site, which is owned by Northwest Development Agency.
According to the practice's design statement, the proposals have been drawn up to safeguard key views of the historic Pier Head.
It reads: 'The two residential wedges' low points are positioned to frame views through to the front and back elevations and roofscapes of the Pier Head group, while their apexes provide a visual draw and termination to pedestrian approaches from Chavasse Park to the Southeast and the city centre to the east.
'The visually heavy buildings float over double-height glazed retail leisure podiums, which provide activity to all frontages and provide a tension between the scheme and the visually grounded Pier Head group.'
A planning application is expected to be submitted next month and work could start on site as early as September. by Richard Waite