Architecture and urban design practice BDP's Liverpool studio has been nominated for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2009 for its blueprint for Grosvenor's Liverpool One.
The masterplan was central to the success of the 42-acre £1bn regeneration project, taking existing street patterns and overlaying them with more than 20 new buildings in a deceptively simple layout of retail, leisure, car parking, hotels and residential on multiple levels.
The plan also set design standards for the new buildings to meet and integrated the scheme into the rest of the city centre, most notably making the once-isolated Albert Dock feel closer to the retail core than it did previously.
Click on gallery below for a closer look at Liverpool One
It is the first time a masterplan rather than a building has been nominated for the biggest prize in architecture.
The full shortlist of six nominated schemes, drawn from 103 regional RIBA prize winners, is as follows:
Liverpoool One Masterplan, BDP
Maggie's Centre, London, Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
Bodegas Protos, Spain, Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
Fuglsang Kunstmuseum, Denmark, Tony Fretton Architects
5 Aldermanbury Square' London, Eric Parry Architects
Kentish Town Health Centre, London, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Terry Davenport, head of BDP's northern retail team and the man behind the Liverpool One masterplan, said: "Being responsible for the first ever masterplan to make the Stirling Prize shortlist is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the vision, talent and skills of the entire BDP team.
"The fact that the RIBA judges have chosen to put a masterplan on a par with some of the world's most impressive new buildings also reflects that great architectural design isn't solely about physical structures. Masterplanning takes in a broad range of disciplines and plays a key role in the delivery of sustainable urban regeneration.
"It also helps build better and more coherent communities and, if done well, can genuinely make a difference to the quality of people's lives. I'm therefore thrilled that this has been recognised through being shortlisted for the UK's top architectural award."
Stirling judges said Liverpool One had "single-handedly reversed the fortunes of the city by bringing a new social and economic vibrancy to what was 42 acres of derelict but historic buildings at its heart. The result is a vibrant and economically successful retail, leisure and mixed-use quarter – an entirely revitalised city centre that now connects properly with the Docks. BDP set down generous public space networks and rigorous yet flexible design briefs and have worked with a broad range of architects to evolve the plan and deliver buildings of a very high quality."
The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London's Old Billingsgate Market on 17 October, televised on Channel 4.
Gallery images courtesy of David Thrower and David Barbour for BDP