A complete restoration of the fire-damaged grade-two listed Birkdale School for the Deaf alongside new-build apartments will form part of new care village by Octopus Healthcare, designed by architect Gaunt Francis.
The listed building was formerly home to a boarding school, before being purchased as a Liverpool School for the Deaf in 1948. The school occupied the building until 2003, but it was extensively damaged by a fire in 2010 which destroyed its Eastern wing, and has been derelict ever since.
Octopus Healthcare’s plan includes a mix of refurbishment and new build to house a total of 109 assisted living apartments.
The main grade-two listed building is described as being in a “severely deteriorated condition” but will be fully restored, while more recent extensions to the structure will be demolished to focus on the reinstatement of its northern elevation. Areas of the building damaged by the fire in 2010 will be rebuilt.
The main building has the capacity to house 25 assisted living units including two duplex apartments, while formal rooms on the ground floor will be restored to house communal facilities. Works to the listed building include replacement of its windows, upgrades to mechanical & electrical, and installation of new floor coverings. Listed air raid shelters will also be retained as part of the plans.
The new-build element includes four blocks of 11 two-bed apartments to the south of site, alongside landscaped gardens. Another new-build block will be joined to the existing building via a glass link, which will provide access to the communal facilities from Granville Road.
The architect warned that any major delays to the project would “create further costs and difficulties” as the main building continues to deteriorate.
The professional team on the project also includes project manager Quartz; highways consultant WYG; heritage consultant Kathryn Sather & Associates; Sedwick Associates as planner; Tier Consult as structural engineer; Appletons as landscape architect; Betts Hydro as hydro engineer; and Erap as ecologist.