The year gave a mix of both interesting individual buildings, and large-scale development sites coming forward. Designs got more adventurous, and masterplans got bigger.
Some may get built, some may not; few are likely to live up to the idyll shown in an artist’s impression. Place North West picks some favourites.
Knowledge Quarter, Liverpool
Liverpool City Council’s flagship scheme of the year was the Knowledge Quarter, unifying £2bn of science development across the city, and led by the creation of Paddington Village, a 1.8m sq ft education, science and residential development.
The Lexington, Liverpool Waters
In June, Moda Living and funder Apache Capital Partners revealed their plans for an £80m private rented residential development at Princes Dock, a tower rising up to 34 floors and totaling 304 apartments. Designed by Falconer Chester Hall. Image by Infinite 3D.
Plot B5, MediaCityUK
Peel and Legal & General were granted planning permission for the second vase of MediaCityUK at Salford Quays, made up of 540,000 sq ft of offices, 1,800 apartments and a mix of retail and leisure. One of the 10 projects approved included an 18-storey office, designed by Sheppard Robson.
Festival Park, Liverpool
The council’s ambitious plans to rejuvenate the 80-acre former Festival Gardens site includes 3,000 homes, cultural venues, public realm, and the potential creation of a Mersey Ferry landing stage. Designed by K2 Architects
St John’s, Manchester
Details continued to emerge of Allied London’s £1.5bn plans for the former ITV Granada site in Manchester city centre. Planning applications put in this year included 52-storey and 36-storey residential-led towers, the 270,000 sq ft Central Village workspace, and the £110m Factory arts centre. Masterplan architect is SimpsonHaugh & Partners
Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester
Legal & General said it would invest £10m on improvements to Manchester’s most-problematic (and some might say only) area of public realm. The unpopular feature wall is set to be demolished, and the pavilion replaced by 20,000 sq ft of new restaurants and bars.
Owen Street, Manchester
In January, Renaker Build announced that it was dusting off plans for the Castlefield plot, first proposed by West Properties in 2008; by December, the developer had started on site with the first two of four skyscrapers, including a 64-storey tower set to be Manchester’s tallest yet. Architect is SimpsonHaugh
UCLan, civic square and student support centre, Preston
In September, the University of Central Lancashire selected Hawkins\Brown as its preferred architect for a £60m project, which will see the creation of a civic square and student support centre. The project is the University’s flagship in a £200m campus masterplan.
Leeds Street, Liverpool
Elliot Group expanded its already extensive Liverpool pipeline with the acquisition of a plot on Leeds Street, which it said could be used for the delivery of 1,015 flats, in three 34-storey blocks. A planning application is yet to be submitted. Designed by Falconer Chester Hall. Image by Infinite 3D.
Late entry: Ovatus 1, Liverpool
This year was the year that CGIs became practically indistinguishable from photographs. Liverpool developers Prospect Capital and Wilcocks & Wilcocks announced days before Christmas that they had submitted a planning application for a 27-storey residential tower, designed by Hodder+Partners. A high bar for the final scheme.
Honourable mention: Great Northern office, Manchester
When an image leaked of an office-on-stilts designed by architect Will Alsop for Great Northern, a public furore erupted and petitions were at the ready. While Great Northern owner Tobermory maintains that the image was a conceptual design never set to be built, this CGI gets an honourable mention for causing the most ruckus of 2016.