Wirral Metropolitan College
ARCHITECT: GLENN HOWELLS ARCHITECTS
CLIENT: PEEL HOLDINGS LIMITED
AWARDS WON: RIBA NATIONAL AWARD 2016
riba NORTH WEST award 2016
This is a scheme that hopefully begins a process of transformation of this part of the Wirral and the historic dock system. Although somewhat industrial (especially when viewed from a distance), the form and materials are true to their function and context. The simplicity of the grid and section appear to be a result of the need to fast-track the project, with complexity added where appropriate and in a restrained manner (the external perforated skin for example). This is a simply planned building and although the diagram is not groundbreaking, it has been delivered with rigour and the building will act as a pedagogical device for students.
One of the most successful aspects of the building is the way it works within an excellent landscape scheme. The setting of the dockside has been fully exploited, yet this is not a normal UK design response. The absence of barriers to water was noticeable and combined with the lack of perimeter fencing the landscape is allowed to act as an outside space that people want to be in - not an enclosed car park. It was this final aspect that persuaded the judges that this could indeed be worthy of an award - the building and its landscape can act as a blueprint for an excellent minimum standard for future phases.
CONTRACTOR: MORGAN SINDALL
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS: JACOBS ENGINEERING
M&E ENGINEERS: HOARE LEA
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS: BCA LANDSCAPE
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: DBK
MASTERPLANNER: PARKINSON INC
INTERNAL AREA: 3,809 SQM
PHOTOGRAPHER: PAUL MILLER