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In 1999, BDP won a limited competition with developers Grosvenor/Henderson to redevelop 17 hectares of central Liverpool. At the time the area was run down and in desperate need of regeneration and the City Council wanted a new approach to development that would bring back vitality and street life where there was dereliction and poorly designed space.

BDP acted as masterplanner for the project, as well as concept architect for many of the buildings. and was responsible for all aspects of the public realm including Chavasse Park, a two hectare open space developed in collaboration with US-based architects Pelli Clarke Pelli. The quality of the resulting masterplan in the shaping of the Liverpool One development has been recognised through numerous awards. It was the first masterplan to be shortlisted for the prestigious Stirling Prize for architecture in 2009.

The idea of pedestrian connectivity was of primary importance, with an emphasis on encouraging people to walk between different locations within the city centre where a variety of spaces and places would surprise and delight. Legibility was key to linking the masterplan with the city’s famous landmarks, including the Anglican Cathedral and the Liver Building which were used to inform orientation.

The principle of focused and identifiable public space was successfully created by reducing the impact of vehicles. Chavasse Park not only slopes west to capture the afternoon sun but also provides a new heart to Liverpool One and has commanding and distinctive views towards the Mersey’s waterfront and the Albert Dock. Located in an elevated position, the park forms a green roof to a multi-level car park.

On the perimeter of Chavasse Park, planted terraces offer meandering routes down to a new pedestrian route connecting the city directly to the museums, the bus station and the Albert Dock. The underlying design philosophy determined that the new park should become a green oasis within the city centre, with the ability to accommodate a lively programme of outdoor events that can be held year-round.

The main amenities of the park comprise a ‘grand lawn’, richly planted terraced and walled gardens, sites for beautiful pavilion buildings, sheltered seating, semi-mature coniferous and deciduous ornamental trees and multi-functional paving areas. Innovative lighting across the entire park highlights the footways and special features and a complex series of sculptural granite stairways and ‘bleachers’ link the upper levels of the park to adjacent pedestrian squares and streets.

To celebrate the historic maritime importance of this part of Liverpool, a unique water feature commemorating the ‘Old Dock’ has been incorporated into the park consisting of a series of inter-linked pools and fountains.

 

 

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