The redevelopment of the 280,000 sq ft former Royal Mail sorting office at Copperas Hill by Liverpool John Moores University has been approved by the city council.
The 355,000 sq ft scheme next to Lime Street train station and the city’s Knowledge Quarter will bring together the University’s Mount Pleasant and Byrom Street campuses. The completed facility will become the centre of LJMU’s Connected University Campus Village.
In May contractor Lendlease is due to remove the exterior of the Royal Mail sorting office to expose the internal frame, which will then form the basis of the new structure.
Currently spread over five floors, the new building, accessible from both Copperas Hill and Brownlow Hill, will be expanded to include two mezzanine floors and use of the roof for sports and recreation. This will increase the floor area from the existing 280,000 sq ft to 355,000 sq ft.
The building will house the University’s three libraries, teaching areas, and sports facilities.
Other services will include a café and retail space, the University’s World of Work Careers Centre, Student Advice & Wellbeing, Student Administration, and LJMU’s Teaching & Learning Academy.
BDP is the architect on the scheme, Christal Management project manager, Sweett Group consultant and employer agent, Curtins civil and structural engineer, Arup building services engineer.
Copperas Hill is expected to be open for use at the start of the academic year 2018.
Sue Emms, lead architect for the development, said: “Copperas Hill will be transformed into a friendly, student-centred hub providing a highly visible focus for the University. A walkway will encourage the public to walk through the building creating an attractive route from Lime Street to the Knowledge Quarter allowing the public to connect directly with the University. A new central atrium creates a spiritual heart and a sense of place within the building and learning terraces step up uniting all levels, users and activities.
The terraces will animate the building externally and connect the city park at ground level to a sky garden on the roof. The highly glazed building will showcase LJMU and be transparent, open and connected. Copperas Hill will be a new destination in the city and create a vibrant heart for the University.”
At Liverpool City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday 8 March, the council also approved an application for 380 student apartments off Scotland Road in Vauxhall, by developer Jamworks. The flats will be delivered across three buildings, rising up to 15 storeys.