Two internationally acclaimed architectural firms have been appointed by Peel Land and Property to design the new Maritime Knowledge Hub and breathe life back into the Grade II listed Hydraulic Tower building at the heart of the Wirral Waters site.
Award-winning firms, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects in Denmark, and Ellis Williams Architects in Liverpool, have been chosen to design what will be one of the most important parts of the entire Wirral Waters regeneration project.
The design team will be led by Parkinson Inc, the master planner for Wirral Waters, who will work with Schmidt Hammer Lassen, as the concept architects, and Ellis Williams, as the local delivery architects.
Protecting the heritage and history of the Central Hydraulic Tower and Engine House, designed by Jesse Hartley as a copy of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, will be integral to the design as it was bombed during World War II and lays largely derelict.
In addition to the refurbishment of the tower, will be the creation of the Maritime Knowledge Hub, a centre for Marine entrepreneurship, enterprise, skills and culture to support the Marine and Maritime sectors.
Richard Mawdsley, director of development for Wirral Waters at Peel Land and Property, said: ““Working with our partners, including Mersey Maritime, we are really excited to have appointed two such internationally acclaimed architects to deliver our new Maritime Knowledge Hub”.
“The design of the Hub and the regeneration of the tower has to be something truly special with education, industry and culture at its very core. The tower is a very important local asset, full of history and heritage and it’s only right that it takes centre stage of the Wirral Waters regeneration project.”
Morten Schmidt, Founding Partner of Schmidt Hammer Lassen, said: “Designing a complex that is one of the most transformative new developments in the Liverpool region called for thoughtful architectural design that respects the heritage of the existing building, while looking towards the future.
“Our design brings the Hydraulic Tower back to life while creating an architectural expression that connects new and old through beautiful courtyards, a unifying façade, and complementary building volumes.”
Managing Director of Ellis Williams Architects, Julian Baker, reacted to the announcement: “We are delighted to have been chosen to work alongside Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects on this exciting project. It represents a fantastic opportunity to bring this truly unique building back to life acting as both a beacon of excellence and catalyst for future projects within the Wirral Waters regeneration framework.”