John Lyall Archtiects wins permission for £130m mixed-use scheme in 2008 Capital of Culture

John Lyall Architects has won planning permission for a £130m mixed-use scheme just north of Liverpool’s Three Graces.

The 69,000m2 scheme, known as New World Square, includes a five-star hotel and 362 apartments. It is sited in Princes Dock behind the ferry terminal.

The project, for Lead Asset Strategies, is made up of three medium and high-rise elements set around a square. The apartments are in a U-shaped building on the riverfront and a 14-storey tower, while the hotel occupies a slab block. The ground floor of all three buildings will be used as commercial space, beneath which will be three storeys of car parking.

Both the apartment block and hotel will be seen from Pier Head square in front of the Three Graces, while an eight-storey arch within the block will open up views of the Mersey and Birkenhead beyond. A new canal will pass below the building to link Princes Dock to Albert Dock to the south.

As the site is exposed, the apartments’ balconies, set in an outer facade of Portland stone, are sheltered by panels of clear and fritted glass. The hotel is clad in a combination of clear glass, fritted glass and white glass, to give what John Lyall calls “The dramatic effect of a variegated luminous box at night.”

Completion is due in 2009 – the year after Liverpool’s period as European Capital of Culture.

EC Harris is the project manager, Pell Frischmann the structural and services engineer and Franklin + Andrews the QS. The scheme was supported by Cabe and English Heritage.