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CABE still unconvinced by Wilkinson Eyre's Kings Waterfront plans

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CABE's design review committee still has some reservations about Wilkinson Eyre Architects' high-profile riverside development in Liverpool, according to a recent report.

While the committee recognised that the Kings Waterfront masterplan 'is moving in the right direction', it also highlighted areas needing attention. Among the key concerns were unappealing access routes, problematic landscape design and unattractive public spaces.

The report stated: 'Although clear diagrams of people movement were presented, we saw little to convince us that the route between the city centre and the site was likely to be a pleasant, and therefore popular, one, despite it being the most direct.

'We are unsure about what some of the spaces will feel like to be in - there is potential for the large piazza space to feel rather bleak on nonevent days, for example, ' the report added.

The committee was also worried that the scheme did not acknowledge the site's history or relate clearly to the neighbouring docks, in particular the Albert Dock. There were also concerns about the quality of residential accommodation around the car park area.

However, many elements of the project were singled out for praise.

The report said: 'The sculptural form of the arena and exhibition centre strikes us as a potentially beautiful design.

'There has clearly been a huge amount of work aimed at improving on the previous version of the scheme.'

Wilkinson Eyre Architects was unavailable for comment.

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