Welcome Pavilion on Albert Dock given green light approval

Albert Dock Liverpool receives planning approval on an ambitious new build on the Dock, as its Welcome Pavilion receives the green light from Liverpool City Council.

A new architectural jewel at Albert Dock, the Welcome Pavilion will be used as a welcome, information and event space, and through multi-media platforms will interpret the history and heritage of the Dock for visitors. Importantly it will strengthen links between the city centre and the waterfront.

In design, the Welcome Pavilion is confident in its modernity and respectful against the backdrop of Albert Dock, within the context of the UNESCO World Heritage site. It is light and transparent, low and horizontal, slender and distinctly modern, with a weightlessness that seamlessly complements the verticality and industrial composition of the existing Grade I listed pavilions of Albert Dock.

The scheme will also create a new, multi-use public realm with a strong sense of arrival for visitors to the Dock. This will involve the removal of physical barriers and clutter that will open up views of the waterfront, provide public event space and an overall more pedestrian-friendly welcome. These enhancements will ensure that Albert Dock continues to play a key role in Liverpool’s progression and regeneration as an international waterfront city.

Sue Grindrod, chief executive of Albert Dock Liverpool, said:

“Delivering on our vision for a Welcome Pavilion in such an iconic location has pushed us to focus on the future needs of visitors to Albert Dock for years to come. We are thrilled that we can now break ground and realise the vision. I’m grateful for the support provided by the teams from Arup, K2 Architects, Planit-IE, Curtins, Steven A Hunt & Associates, Walker Sime, Jenny Douglas, and Rob Burns who have all worked together so brilliantly to deliver the planning, and I cannot wait to see it rise from the ground.”

Mark Davies, director of K2 Architects, said:

“This building will be the first modern development to be built at Albert Dock in a long time and is a testament to the confidence and forward-thinking approach of the Dock leadership.

“The Welcome Pavilion underpins a new sense of arrival, and reinterpreting ways in which Albert Dock connects and articulates its unique heritage with future generations of visitors. We are not looking for a dwell time here, this is not a “shouty” building. It is deliberately pared down, but the attention is in the detail.”

Paul Grover, associate director, Arup, added:

“When we started out on this project, we were all committed to delivering an award-winning project and I think we have remained true to that vision. The Welcome Pavilion will be a new icon on the waterfront. It will be a key linkage to bring people out from Liverpool ONE, down to the waterfront and linking back into Albert Dock to peek inside those incredible pavilions beyond.”

The Welcome Pavilion forms the first part of a masterplan developed by landscape architects, Planit-IE, for the future development of the iconic Liverpool site. It also responds to the ambitions of Albert Dock 175 – a robust strategy that will assert the Dock’s position as a world-class, leisure destination, counting up to a year of celebration in 2021 – 175 years since the Dock was officially opened by Prince Albert.
Significant public and stakeholder consultation was conducted in September 2017 which helped shape the planning application. Alongside K2 Architects and Planit-IE, Arup has acted as structural and civil engineers, and planning consultants for the project. Walker Sime (project managers), Steven A Hunt & Associates (MEP engineers), Curtins (highways engineers), Jenny Douglas (project co-ordinator) and Rob Burns (heritage consultant) complete the design team for the scheme.

Work will begin in autumn 2018, with completion expected summer 2019.