Inspirational Architecture: A Walking Tour & Workshop

For those who have been following our Design Team workshops, you’ll be familiar with Architectural Emporium already. For those who aren’t, they are the local architects who we are working directly with on our “Build Your Own High Street” project.
Yesterday, we visited their offices in Hope Street, to talk a little more about the scheme, the materials we’re hoping to use, and to have a short walking tour around the surrounding area.


Their offices were bright, with big windows that let in a lot of light – this was a good sign, I felt.
Computers and books on design everywhere, as well as plenty of space.

We sat in a smaller office room to discuss things, and view a slideshow to view other designs of similar schemes throughout the country.


Marianne Heslip led the discussion, and we noted down aspects we were keen on on post-its, and hung these up.


After this, we went on our walking tour.
(You can also follow this “as it happened” [’ target=’_blank’>link] on our Instagramfor extra insight into how it went.)


First up was The Everyman theatre building.
This building has been renovated and is undeniably eye-catching. The design is modern, but not too different to the surrounding historical buildings of Hope Street. The mixture of materials and rendering suits nicely, I feel, and is a welcome addition rather than something completely jarring.


After that, the Pen Factory, which is the quirky pub next door, and uses artefacts from the old Everyman in its design. The eclectic design choices for the Pen Factory creates a unique atmosphere, and feels quite ‘homely’ or comforting even in a way. It’s got a relaxed atmosphere about it, and a nod to the old as well as new – something we’ve all been very keen on retaining with our own project.


We also looked at the iconic Philharmonic Hall. This building seems to be a staple in Liverpool, and is certainly one that I’ve always remembered as a child, having visited there a lot for school functions. However, it has since been renovated, and while the front tells one story, the back is something a little different.


We were collectively a little unsure about the design choices here, with the scalloped panels and even the colour scheme. The windows not matching up with the panels bothered Cal and Marianne in particular.


After our tour, we returned to the AE offices again.


Having long decided we want whatever we build to respect Anfield’s traditional use of good quality brick we also spent time before we finished for the day looking at what other materials we might use to make our building stand out and be beautiful as well as practical. We looked at samples of tiling and blockwork, as well as using wood for window frames and doors to create a sustainable building that will also make economic and environmental sense over the many years it will stand for as part of the new high street we will be helping to create.


Toby then finished the workshop with a few sketches of roughly where we’re up to and what we might think of next. An inspirational day.


Ronnie Hughes, of ‘A Sense of Place’, who was with us yesterday and took some of these photographs, has also posted a blog about the day. [’ target=’_blank’>link] You can [’ target=’_blank’>link] read it hereThanks to Ronnie and Pat for photographs.

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