Albert Dock unveils Northern Gateway consultation

AS Albert Dock Liverpool unveils the next stage of its masterplan, the public is being invited to consult on the improvements to its Northern Gateway entrance. The plans drawn up by Planit-IE were commissioned in 2014 and play a part in the Albert Dock 175 strategy launched in 2016, addressing the evolving needs of the future visitors to this Grade I listed estate within a UNESCO World Heritage waterfront setting.

Tuesday, September 19, from 11am until 7pm, will see an exhibition take place inside the Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Building, for residents, businesses and stakeholders to view the proposals to improve Albert Dock’s Northern Gateway through a new pavilion building and landscaping works.

The proposals seek to build a new, high quality pavilion building along Salthouse Quay, which will act as a gateway to the wider estate within Albert Dock. In addition to this, the entire landscape along this important stretch of the estate will be redesigned and updated to open up the views and provide a more pedestrian-friendly arrival space that improves access to the waters edge and wider dock, improving the visitor experience of the large numbers of people who live, work, relax and enjoy the Dock’s year-round programme of events, cultural attractions, restaurants, bars and shops.

Importantly, the building will reconnect the middle ground between Albert Dock, Liverpool ONE and the wider city context. The brief calls for a building that will serve as a ‘shop window’ for businesses and organisations located within the Dock, an information point that will showcase events throughout the year and allow people to dwell, before continuing their journey into Albert Dock.

Sue Grindrod, chief executive of Gower Street Estates, said: “The Dock is much loved by the public and continues to play a key role in the city’s evolution. That is why it is so important that the public are given this opportunity to gain a better understanding of what we are planning for the future, how our plans carefully respect the unique heritage and historic built environment of the Dock, and to have input in helping us shape the final plan.

“It is exciting to share these ambitious proposals as we begin to realise the masterplan that we have been working on for a number of years, to improve the visitor experience at Albert Dock, and to take Albert Dock into the next chapter of its already illustrious life.”

 Peter Swift, managing partner, Planit-IE, said: “Planit-IE were commissioned in 2014 to prepare a vision document that sought to re-establish Albert Dock as the welcome mat for the whole of the Liverpool waterfront. This vision recognised the importance that a well-designed, high quality, pedestrian focussed public realm would have on the future of the Dock and its ability to maintain its standing as a premier visitor attraction in the city.

“Retained to develop proposals for the Northern Gateway, Planit-IE are extremely proud to see the first phase of this vision come to fruition. The public realm proposals, combined with the introduction of the welcome building, will greatly improve the visitor experience and will establish a truly visitor friendly gateway to Albert Dock. The proposals seek to reduce the impact of vehicular movements and will establish a high quality and unique dock side area that will enable a flexibility of use while providing essential orientation and information services, all within an internationally recognised heritage environment.”

Mark Davies, director of K2 Architects, added: “The building will blur the barriers between internal and external spaces, a seamless transition between building, landscape, and public art, but will remain respectful of the heritage that is deeply rooted in this magnificent collection of dock buildings.”

Arup are planning advisors on this scheme. If you cannot attend the consultation event and wish to find out more about the proposals please contact Ian Ford at ian.ford@arup.com