Marks Barfield to design 'London Eye' for Wirral Waters
Marks Barfield Architects, the practice which designed the London Eye, has been appointed to prepare designs for a £7m-£10m viewing tower for Wirral Waters
Peel Holdings, which is developing 20,000 hectares of land in Wirral Waters and its sister scheme Liverpool Water across the Mersey, has appointed the London-based practice to prepare initial concept ideas and to carry out a feasibility study for an observation tower.
Although still at very early stages, David Marks, managing director of the practice, said that the structure was likely to be an observation tower of around 80m height, with an open deck viewing platform at the top.
Marks said: ‘It will be a fantastic viewing point from which visitors will be able to see the Liverpool Waterfront, the Welsh Hills, the Cheshire Plains, windfarms in the Irish Sea, Blackpool Tower and the River Mersey.’
He added: ‘[The viewing tower] has historical links with the now demolished New Brighton Tower, which opened in 1900 and was 170m in height. Our tower won’t be as high, it will be about half as high, but it’s not about height. It’s about quality of views and the experience.’
The tower will be linked to the Mersey ferry and new tramways, and Marks said that the ‘usual suspects’ of a café, education centre and retail units were all being considered for the project. Although there will be lifts, staircases will allow visitors to climb up and down the tower too.
On the tower’s contribution to Wirral, Marks said: ‘The tower will add excitement and interest to the skyline. It will be a new landmark for Wirral, and a signal of what’s to come.’