New landmark for Liverpool

By Chloe Tomkins

Plans for a new Liverpool landmark have been unveiled by the Royal College of Physicians. The new £35 million northern headquarters will officially be known as The Spine, taking its name from a staircase on its north elevation that resembles a human spine.  The design shows that the 15-storey building, designed by AHR Architects and ARUP, would be covered in an “exoskeleton” that looks like a pattern of human skin cells.

Located in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter, Paddington Village, The Spine will sit behind the Royal Liverpool Hospital. The bottom three and top four storeys of the landmark will become a new 70,000 sq ft centre of clinical excellence for the RCP, the remaining seven floors will become a range of contemporary workspaces designed to meet the needs of organisations in the health, science and education sectors.

The RCP’S Mersey regional office is currently based in the William Henry Duncan building on Derby Street, which opened in October last year.

Dominic Manfredi, a director at AHR Architects, said: “This pioneering biophilic design will ensure The Spine becomes an exemplar of what is possible when a building is shaped to maximise the ways in which people work, live and learn.

“This will be a standout addition to a thriving community of medical, scientific and technological innovation and we are proud to be working with Morgan Sindall to deliver a landmark structure that meets and exceeds global standards of health and wellbeing.”

Liverpool is at a crucial stage of a transformation process. In 2019 the city is on schedule to welcome more than £1bn investment in regeneration schemes. Liverpool City Council are currently £14bn of projects, which are either happening now or set for the future. One of these is the growth of the Knowledge Quarter, where The Spine is going to be built. The Knowledge Quarter, also known as KQ Liverpool, is a ‘450-acre urban innovation district,’ and holds buildings dedicated to industries such as science, health, technology, education, music and the creative and performing arts.

Liverpool City Council Mayor Joe Anderson, said: “KQ Liverpool is at the vanguard of the city’s economic growth potential and the arrival of RCP North brings added momentum to our plans to create a world-class innovation district.”

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The Spine. Photo courtesy of KQ Liverpool

Paddington Village, the home of Knowledge Quarter, will soon be in its next phase of development, which will include a 250-bed hotel and serviced apartment scheme. Liverpool City Council has also shortlisted three of the leading hotel companies Accor, Hilton, and IHG to deliver plans for the proposal. The final design of the hotel is to be announced in summer 2018.

Phase 3 of the regeneration, Paddington North, will be directly opposite the health campus, which includes the new £157m Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and the £429m Royal Liverpool Hospital.

A video of where the new landmark is to be built at the Paddington site.


Plans for a hotel in Paddington North. Photo Courtesy of KQ Liverpool.

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