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Big names battle it out for Liverpool Uni’s architecture school extension

Shutterstock 382632901 liverpool crop
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An impressive shortlist, which includes Stirling Prize-winning practice Haworth Tompkins, has been drawn up for a major new extension to Liverpool University’s school of architecture  

Selected from a hand-picked long list of 18, the six finalists also include 6A Architects, Eric Parry Architects, Carmody Groarke and Dublin-based practices O’Donnell + Tuomey and Grafton Architects which have also both had major commissions for the London School of Economics.

Haworth Tompkins won the 2014 Stirling Prize for its Everyman Theatre, also in Liverpool.

The £23 million scheme (construction cost £13.8 million) will sit on a plot of land, currently used as a car park, which sits between the school’s existing Leverhulme building and Basil Spence’s Chadwick Laboratory physics building.

The design contest features a high-profile jury chaired by architecture critic Kenneth Frampton with Tate director Maria Balshaw, Finnish architect and former professor of architecture and dean at the Helsinki University of Technology Juhani Pallasmaa and architect Michael Wilford.

Liverpool university school of architecture photo by annalisa sonzogni

Liverpool University’s school of architecture

Source: Annalisa Sonzogni

Liverpool University’s school of architecture - Leverhulme building on left

The competition’s stated aim was ‘to identify the most interesting architects for this particular brief and to highlight the importance of architectural quality’.

The university also says it is ‘equally interested in the pedagogic potential of the initiative, which can involve and expose our students to all the stages of the process’.

The competition brief adds: ‘We think that this experiment could represent an alternative to the current methodology of professional procurement, to which the university has shown a forward thinking approach.’

The exact remit and extent of the project have been left deliberately loose.

Designs are expected to look at a new-build addition – potentially up to 2,400m² –  as well as remodelling the school’s existing accommodation currently housed in a Georgian terrace and the neighbouring Leverhulme building, which was designed by Charles Reilly in the 1930s and revamped in the 1980s. 

Final presentation of all six proposals will be made in a public forum on 6 June.

The competition winner will be announced later that month with the final design unveiled in early 2020. Construction of the new building and the reorganisation of the existing premises is expected to complete by 2023.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • Better news from Liverpool, which recently seems to have been afflicted by one or two rubbish schemes by what can only be described as rubbish architects.

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