Paul Monaghan MR
Image by Tim Soar

Monaghan named as Liverpool design champion

Paul Monaghan, one of the founding partners of 2015 Stirling Prize winner Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, has been appointed as the Liverpool city region’s first design champion.

Monaghan’s new role will be announced today at an event hosted by the Combined Authority with RIBA North West. Metro mayor Steve Rotheram said: “It is impossible to overstate the importance of the quality of the buildings we live, work in and see every day, for our wellbeing and quality of life.

“That is why, when I was elected, I promised to promote good design and support action to improve the quality and attractiveness of neighbourhoods across the city region.

“The appointment of Paul Monaghan, a local lad who has become one of the country’s leading architects, is a huge step towards putting the issue of good design higher up the agenda.  I am very pleased he has accepted the role and I look forward to working closely with him.”

AHMM won the Stirling Prize in 2015 for its work in Burntwood School, Wandsworth and also designed the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, along with a host of London commercial developments.

Within Liverpool, it was the architect for the redevelopment of the Royal Court Theatre, delivered earlier this year, and also designed the Unity scheme, combining a residential tower and the 20 Chapel Stret office block, delivered in 2007.

Elsewhere in the region, it is the architect for English Cities Fund’s Two New Bailey Place office development in Salford, now on site.

Monaghan, who hails from West Derby, said: “It’s an enormous honour to take on this role in the city region where I grew up and continue to work. Liverpool has some of the finest public buildings and spaces in Europe and I hope my role as design champion will help to ensure that new development supports and builds on that legacy across the city region.

!I’m looking forward to working with Steve and his team to celebrate and maintain Liverpool city region’s history of design quality.”

Related to its appointment of Monaghan, work is ongoing at city region level to develop a Spatial Development Strategy, while the Combined Authority recently secured £100,000 funding to deliver nearly 50 design review panels for major developments in the city region.

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Good to see the city region taking charge. May this be the first step towards a statutory body with real powers to approve, reject and listen to appeals, encompassing devolved planning powers and a devolved heritage remit to replace the distant, out of sync with Liverpool, and ineffective English Heritage.

By Mike

Great signing, hope he can steer the developers away from too much red brick and be a bit more adventurous in their designs.

By Liverpolitis

Manchester please take note…Fat chance of that.

By Loganberry

Typo there: Eest Derby should be West Derby.

This is a great initiative. Wish other north-west cities would pay more (any? some?) attention to quality when approving dross.

By Big Up the North End

No point having a design champion when all the work goes to one of 3 firms.

By zoro

Not sure about him as design champion. The Unity Building, if you don’t know, is the one down Chapel St. with a ” lego” brick on top. Looking at his website, most of the buildings are variations on the same theme. Not sure how that is going to promote design excellence and lead to challenge in the design field.

By Mick

Please don’t forget the existing beautiful architecture that is already there! And who Liverpool City Council sell these buildings to, and what is done with them in the name of development.

By Bob Dawson

Great news. Its a pity Manchester think its easier to just give everything to Simpson rather than have a design champion.

By Sad

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