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Beauty or beast: New Liverpool Pier Head Ferry Terminal

  • 22 Comments

Liverpool’s new £9.5 million ferry terminal by Belfast-based Hamilton Architects sits in a UNESCO world heritage site opposite the city’s Three Graces

The three-storey waterfront building - which houses a ferry terminal on the ground floor, a Beatles’ museum on the second and a restaurant on the roof - has divided opinion.

BEAUTY

According to the practice, which won the project in an international competition in 2006, the building is ‘dramatic’ and striking while commentators on the flickr.com photographic website have described it as ‘quirky’, a ‘cool building to photograph’ and full of  ‘amazing peculiar angles’.

BEAST

A ‘shocked’ Kim Herforth Nielsen of Danish practice 3XN, the concept designer behind the nearby Museum of Liverpool, said: ‘I cannot find the words to describe my disappointment that any architect could do such a amateurish look-alike next to our building. And how could they get the planning permission, when I know how much effort it took to get the museum design through the planning process, on this very sensitive UNESCO heritage site?’

So who’s right?

  • 22 Comments

Readers' comments (22)

Wht do you think about Hamilton's ferry terminal in Liverpool?

  • The building, in itself, doen't particularly offend me. It has a kind of new 'Estonian/Latvian' oddness. Just unsure about how it sits with the Graces.

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  • The problem is, it's not sitting alone, it's part of the ruination of the waterfront with a bunch of other buildings, including the new museum and the black granite stump on Mann Island. The Three Graces is hemmed in, the view from Albert Dock ruined.

    See: http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.com/2009/07/milton-keynes-on-sea-we-are-rumbled.html

    and
    http://badbritisharchitecture.blogspot.com/2009/07/pier-head-ferry-terminal-liverpool-by.html

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  • Pictures, and a news report on the issues are here:

    http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.com/2009/06/mann-island-damage-has-been-well-and.html

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  • I cannot express my disappointment that the new museum by 3XN was ever allowed to be built. Pots, kettles?

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  • The AJ's photographer clearly has a fixation with one end of the building. Surely if we're to be able to judge the building we need more than one elevation to comment on?

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  • It's just as bad from other views.

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  • I think that both this building and the new Museum and MerseyTravel offices are an abomination.

    The Planners should hang their heads in shame at the ruination of the view from the Albert Dock, and from the ferries, prior to resigning their positions.

    If this were in London, Price Charles would have been all over it, but as it's in Liverpool, no one cares.

    Shame on the Architectural profession. Shame on the Planners.

    The city is the long term loser in this.

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  • I wrote "The AJ's photographer clearly has a fixation with one end of the building. Surely if we're to be able to judge the building we need more than one elevation to comment on?".

    Goodness! - someone actually reads these comments! Shortly afterwards I got a personal email and find another view published!

    It's clearly a building one has to see in reality to form a proper judgement on but I find the clash of the leaning walls and apertures at odds with the rectilinear glazing pattern. Surely a "chaotic" arrangement of glazing bars would have complemented the masonry?

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  • I've seen it in reality, I've seen it in context and trust me, the whole lot is a jumbled mess. The Three Graces v the Three Ugly Sisters sums it up. Liverpool council at its worst.

    I see that the Liverpool Preservation Trust blogspot has been updated.

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  • These "Architects" are also responsible for the butchered redesign of the Ulster Museum (http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/home/refurb-row-at-modern-museum/125695.article). It truly is awful, but just how did this win an international competition in the first place?

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