Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects won an invited competition to design the Maritime Knowledge Hub, a 6,400-square-metre facility dedicated to marine engineering research and development, survival training, business incubation, workspace, and events at the heart of the Wirral Waters redevelopment project in the United Kingdom’s Liverpool City Region.
The Hub’s centrepiece is the historic Hydraulic Tower modelled after the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy, that now lies largely derelict, having been bombed in World War II. A second, new building, located adjacent to the tower, will comprise new office, incubation, teaching, and cultural space, and will house a tank for a state-of-the-art Offshore Survival Training Centre.
Drawing history into the future
The main themes that permeate Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s winning design are the integration of green space, the use of raw and recycled materials, and the blending of the existing historic elements with the new high design building.
The 19th century Hydraulic Tower will house the Maritime Industries Centre’s work and meeting spaces, three pools including a HydroLab, a café and visitors’ portal, and an observatory that will provide views over Wirral Waters and the greater Liverpool area. The new building will accommodate the bulk of the Marine Technology Centre, the Offshore Survival Training Centre, and the Marine Simulation and Training Centre, and will drive research and innovation by bringing education, employers and businesses together. Source by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
- Location: Wirral Waters, Liverpool, UK
- Architect: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
- Local Architect: Ellis Williams Architects
- Master Planner: Parkinson Inc.
- Client: Peel Land and Property
- Building Area: 6,400 m2
- Competition: 2018, First prize in an invited competition
- Image: Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Article by Marco Rinaldi