Mullan wins wildflower centre brief

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Maggie Mullan Architects is to start work next month on a masterplan for the National Wildflower Centre, a seasonal eco-visitor attraction in Knowsley which exhibits nature displays, community projects and wildflower heritage.

Mullan was awarded the project by Landlife, the conservation charity which founded the Wildflower Centre in 1999.

The centre sits within Court Hey Park and includes a café, shop and conference venue, courtyards and a walled garden. The masterplanning brief will look at how to incorporate the wider Court Hey Park into the gardens around the centre.

Mullan will conduct an 18-week analysis of the wildflower centre from June, which will result in a marketing document defining the needs of the scheme and outlining the investment required.

According to Mullan, the first stage of works at the site is expected to be the installation of a sensory walkway, so a priority will be to seek funders for to support the project from autumn.

Designs for a £6m redevelopment of the centre were previously unveiled by Ian Simpson Architects in 2009, but the plans were shelved during the recession.

Mullan was formerly partner of Austin:Smith-Lord but left at the end of 2014 to establish her own practice.

Speaking to Place North West, Mullan said that the National Wildflower Centre masterplan would "look at assimilating the building back into the landscape."

"The project will be about capturing the spirit of the age," she said. "It's not going to be a massive regeneration project but rather will look at repositioning and looking at how the building sits within its surroundings. We want to maximise what we already have on the site – some aspects work and some don't and we need to redress that."

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Brilliant news! This is an excellent and lovely little place for all ages! A hidden gem! And really deserves this.

By Annie Baines

Well done Maggie!

By Paul Jasper

hello new shoes!

By Anonymous