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Stirling Prize Video: Liverpool One

Terry Davenport of BDP discusses the Liverpool One masterplan

Interview: Peter Drummond, chief executive, BDP, and Terry Davenport, director, BDP Liverpool

This 42-acre, retail, leisure and mixed-use masterplan regenerates the centre of Liverpool by connecting areas such as the business district, waterfront and shopping area. On BDP’s advice, client Grosvenor appointed 26 architectural practices to deliver the masterplan.

What inspired your masterplan?

Peter Drummond The creation of new vibrant quarters in the heart of a great city, brought about by a masterplan developed by leading architectural minds.

In what way has Liverpool’s dynamic character influenced this design?

PD From the masterplan’s inception, the common aim was to develop a project unique to Liverpool and the city’s special character. Blessed with a rich backdrop of historic buildings, a World Heritage setting and pivotal location, we were able to respond to a range of influences across the 42 acres through a sequence of open streets, protected routes and individual buildings as well as new high-quality public spaces.

Describe your relationship with the client.

PD We were very close. This was a creative team where masterplanner, architects, clients, other consultants and local authority politicians and officers sought and succeeded in a collaborative venture. Clarity and focus were achieved through key individuals: the leader of Liverpool City Council, the client’s project director and the lead masterplanning architect.

Did the jury visit go well? 

PD It was thoroughly enjoyable. I had a few nerves to begin with, but these settled down once the the masterplan was debated and understood. The most intriguing questions were around the degree to which the masterplan both directed and gave creative freedom to the concept architects. As with
all visitors to the project and the city, the scale of the achievement and its wider city influence took a little time to absorb, but the concluding discussions, held overlooking Chavasse Park at the heart of the masterplan, were engaging.

What would it mean to you and your practice to win the Stirling Prize?

PD It would be a wonderful recognition of the combined effort and achievement of the many design firms involved, not least within BDP. For us, it would mean recognition that the masterplan has set a new benchmark for mixed-use town and city centre development.

Of the other shortlisted projects, which would you pick as the winner?

Terry Davenport The Bodegas Protos winery is a wonderfully elegant solution and a building that I would love to visit.

Project Data

Start on site November 2004
Completion date October 2008
Gross internal floor area Over 200,000m2
Form of contract Design & Build
Total cost £500 million
Client Grosvenor
Masterplan architect BDP
Architects Aedas, Allies and Morrison, Austin-Smith:Lord, BDP, Brock Carmichael, Craig Foster, Dixon Jones, FAT, Glenn Howells Architects, Grieg & Stephenson, Gross Max, Groupe Six, Hawkins\Brown, Haworth Tomkins, Leach Rhodes Walker, John McAslan + Partners, Limbrick Architecture and Design, Marks Barfield Architects, Squire & Partners, Owen Ellis Partnership, Page\Park, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Stephenson Bell Architects, Studio Three, Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Structural engineer Waterman Partnership
Services engineer WSP
Quantity surveyor Davis Langdon
Annual CO2 emissions Not supplied

Readers' comments (2)

  • I really do not understand why this project is even on the shortlist ? it is average beyond belief -

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • If you ever saw Liverpool city centre BEFORE the Liverpool One development you'd know why this is on the shortlist.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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