Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) is about to start on site in Liverpool with these £54 million plans that are set to transform the city's famous waterfront.
The scheme - for one 27-storey residential tower and one smaller 15-storey office building, linked by a low-rise development at the rear of the site - will nestle behind the iconic Liver Building, the first of Liverpool's famous Three Graces.
The buildings, which won planning in September of last year, comprise high-specification apartments with views overlooking the River Mersey, together with badly needed hi-tech office space.
Project director Paul Monaghan said the scheme's designs were influenced by Liverpool's nautical history.The form of the upper levels - stepping back away from the waterfront - were inspired by liner funnels, he said, and the facade's colour scheme also reflects the camouflage of Dazzle Ships, Second World War military vessels.
Monaghan also said that the massing of the two towers, which are right in the heart of the proposed World Heritage site, was based on the idea that 'asymmetrical forms could look balanced', citing as examples the robots CP3O and R2D2 from the cult classic film Star Wars.
Both the city and local regeneration agency Liverpool Vision were keen to push through the plans as they believe the area is badly under-served by high-quality offices, something that is essential for the continued urban renaissance. Liverpool Vision provided a £10 million grant to aid the construction costs of the 15,000m 2office building.
The residential tower will be made up of 130 units, with the top two penthouses going for more than £1 million each, the most expensive apartments ever on the market in Liverpool.