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Mersey Observatory

The RIBA has launched an international open competition for the design of The Mersey Observatory at the site of the disused Radar Tower that stands between Crosby Beach and Liverpool Docks.

The competition is being promoted by The Mersey Basin Campaign in conjunction with the Northwest Regional Development Agency and Mersey Waterfront Regional Park.

Whilst affording one of the finest offshore coastal views in Britain, Crosby Radar Tower’s location within a working part of Liverpool harbour has previously resulted in restricted public access to the site.

The Mersey Observatory project offers an opportunity to create a major new landmark and visitor attraction that will give stunning views of the Irish Sea, Liverpool Bay, the Wirral Peninsula, Sefton Coast, Liverpool’s skyline and the mountains of North Wales.

The site also provides a bird’s-eye view of the Port of Liverpool dock operation at Seaforth and will enable visitors to see at close quarters the power of the Mersey’s tides and the wildlife that the Estuary supports. The adjacent Crosby Beach is also home to Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ installation of life-size, cast-iron figures that gaze out across the Irish Sea.

The competition brief calls for an architecturally striking, international signature structure for the Liverpool City Region, with a visitor facility that will showcase the importance of the River Mersey and the dynamics of man and nature on the coastal edge.

Entries are invited from architects, or architect-led design teams, which will be judged anonymously at the first stage. The authors of up to six schemes will then be invited to develop their design proposals and present them to a jury panel at interview. Each stage two competitor will receive an honorarium of £6,000 (+VAT).

Details: RIBA Competitions Office,

tel: 0113-234-1335

www.architecture.com/competitions

Deadline for Stage One submissions: 10.12.07 (14.00)

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