Associate - Architecture
RPS acted as lead designer, architect, principal designer and landscape architect for the development of this multi-million pound 11-screen cinema complex, complete with superscreen facility and six new restaurants. Located on the outskirts of Liverpool, on the New Mersey Retail Park in Speke, the development opened for business in Summer 2018.
New Mersey Retail Park, Speke
Due to its prominent position on one of the major access roads into Liverpool, the planners and the client were keen for this to act as a landmark building. In addition, the cinema was one of the first of this design to be constructed in the UK for this leading cinema vendor, and as such came with its own unique design challenges.
Externally, with the building lying only a couple of miles from the river Mersey, all finishes and details needed to allow for the rigours of the marine environment as well as meeting the client's criteria of a BREEAM Very Good rated building.
Internally, due to the client’s specific area requirements, the building's design effectively created two separate buildings with the structure of the cinema staggered to that of the restaurants below and the creation of transfer floor at first floor level. In addition to “breaking” the building structurally, the building was also separated at this point for acoustic requirements, thereby minimising the transferal of sound between the restaurants and the cinema.
Last minute client requirements to change materials meant that key components of the scheme including paving and bespoke street furniture had to be redesigned without any delay or cost adjustments.
To deliver the landmark scheme, high quality materials have been specified including bespoke stainless steel feature cladding and a powder coated aerofoil canopy, a natural copper clad drum, terracotta piers and structural glazing. The front of the development has a circular drum and balcony, the design of which has been influenced by the historic airport located nearby.
We produced concept proposals through to fully proposals for the whole retail park to planning, following which we saw the Phase 1 works through to completion on site. We produced hard and soft landscape with the aim of creating a visitor destination, with opportunities for play and public art installations.
Our landscape design concept centred upon the former and future uses of the site, including taking reference from the movement of air over an aeroplane wing, the art deco architecture of the former airport hangar, and the tiered seating of a cinema auditorium.
All of the new restaurants have been designed to include both significant internal and external seating facilities with large bi-folding shop fronts allowing a seamless dining experience during the summer.
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