schmidt hammer lassen architects has won an invited competition to design the maritime knowledge hub. the proposal is a 6,400-square-meter facility dedicated to marine engineering research and development, survival training, business incubation, workspace, and events at the heart of the wirral waters redevelopment project in the united kingdom‘s liverpool city region. the maritime knowledge hub will create a place for innovation, collaboration, learning, training, and business development in the maritime sectors, and will put liverpool and the UK on the marine and architectural industries’ global stage.


the proposal is a 6,400-square-meter facility dedicated to marine engineering research and development

 

 

the main themes that permeate danish architectural firm schmidt hammer lassen‘s winning design are the integration of green space, the use of raw and recycled materials, and the blending of the existing historic elements with the new high design building. the 19th century hydraulic tower will retain as much of its original character as possible and will house the maritime industries center’s work and meeting spaces, three pools including a hydrolab, a café and visitors’ portal, and an observatory that will provide views over wirral waters and the greater liverpool area. the new building will accommodate the bulk of the marine technology center, the offshore survival training center, and the marine simulation and training center, and will drive research and innovation by bringing education, employers and businesses together.


the maritime hub project is set at the heart of the wirral waters redevelopment project in liverpool

 

 

a wall of reused bricks visually linking past and future will surround the two buildings that make up the maritime knowledge hub. this will provide shelter for staff and visitors against the exposed conditions caused by the river mersey’s open waters and high winds. the wall will also create intimate outdoor spaces including three pocket gardens and an existing central courtyard that will be reimagined with thoughtful new details. the integration of green spaces will extend to roof terraces that can be used for meetings and events.

 

 

the composition of the old hydraulic tower is diverse in shape and richly ornamented. the new additions, which will appear as a series of glowing boxes at night, strive to achieve the opposite effect, serving as a subtle, simple contrast to the liverpool landmark. the interiors of schmidt hammer lassen architects’ buildings will feature open ceilings with visible trays and pipes and will consist of raw materials such as steel and concrete, serving the simple, low maintenance needs of offshore buildings.

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