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Maggie Mullan wins second National Wildflower Centre contest

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The National Wildflower Centre in Knowsley has chosen Maggie Mullan Architects to design its new masterplan

The former Austin:Smith-Lord chief beat Purcell Architects and K2 Architects to the land the scheme - a less expensive replacement for Ian Simpson Architects’ unrealised 2009 RIBA Competition-winning designs.

Having mothballed Simpson’s proposed £6million ‘architecturally striking’ complex, the centre recently began a new search for a design team to take on a scaled-down brief.

According to the centre, the new masterplan for the site will extend ‘beyond normal architectural considerations’ to include interpretation, display gardens, site maintenance and business operations.

Mullan, who left Austin:Smith-Lord last September, will also be asked to look at access and movement around the site, plus land uses, including green areas and drainage issues.

She said: ‘Landlife is a fantastic client with a sound ideology and vision. It’s a privilege to work with them on this project.’

Speaking to the AJ about why project backer Landlife had chosen Mullan, the organisation’s chief executive Tony Jones said the judges had been swayed by the architects’ ‘enthusiasm, commitment, ideas, experience’ and ‘people-centred approach which architecture serves not vice versa’.

Work is expected to stat on site in late 2017.

Ian Simpson's National Wildflower Centre - contest winner 2009 - scheme currently on hold

Ian Simpson’s National Wildflower Centre proposals, whioch won permission in 2010 - scheme currently on hold

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