Hope St Falconer Chester Hall

Designing for Hope Street

Having gained planning consent for a mixed use scheme on Hope Street, Liverpool, which includes student accommodation, space for restaurants, offices and public space, we thought it might be interesting to share our thoughts on designing in such context.
Hope Street is one of Liverpool’s Great Streets. There are a range of architectural styles in the vicinity from the Philharmonic Hall designed by Herbert Rouse in what’s called the streamline modern style of stripped back Art Deco while the Philharmonic Dining Rooms opposite were designed by Walter Thomas in 1898 for Cain’s brewery in the exuberant free style. Then you have the two cathedrals, the Hope Street hotel and extension designed by ourselves, numerous Georgian terraces and the emerging, modern Everyman theatre- a rich variety of building types. We were tasked with producing a design which didn’t seek to emulate or copy styles of the past, but to create a calm, confident building from 2013 to provide a backdrop to those buildings on an important corner site.
Also, it isn’t just a building, but has a series of spaces around the perimeter and an internal public square which provides some much-needed quiet space off Hope Street, and which will be used for exhibitions, performances and displays.
We think we’re using the highest quality materials with limestone for the base, and brick mirroring the proportions used in the neighbouring Philharmonic Hall. We also reference features of adjacent buildings such as oriel windows, string courses, an overlay of vertical and horizontal grids and a curved face.
The building meets the needs of students and, importantly, of the City in being able to attract undergraduates in the future. A healthy knowledge economy is a key element of Liverpool’s future economic growth, and the quality of the residential offer for potential students needs to be as high as possible in order to attract the best quality students into the city. The impact of £35m of inward investment is significant in creating jobs and apprenticeship training opportunities, and the benefit of attractive student accommodation in terms of bringing the brightest and the best to the city in future years that this development represents.