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Ellis Williams Architects appointed for Maritime Knowledge Hub, Wirral Waters

We are delighted to announce that, alongside Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects in Denmark, we have been appointed by Peel Land and Property to design the new Maritime Knowledge Hub and breathe life back into the Grade II listed Hydraulic Tower building at the heart of the Wirral Waters site – one of the most important parts of the entire Wirral Waters regeneration project.

We will be working as the local delivery architects, with Schmidt Hammer Lassen working as the concept architects on this high profile scheme.

Protecting the heritage and history of the Central Hydraulic Tower and Engine House will be integral to the design. The existing building was the central pumphouse that provided hydraulic power to the entire dock system. Designed by Jesse Hartley as a copy of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, it is a Grade II listed structure designed that lies largely derelict after suffering bomb damage during World War II. Despite this, it has great potential and is seen as the heart of the Wirral Waters scheme.

In addition to the refurbishment of the tower will be the creation of the Maritime Knowledge Hub, a centre for Marine entrepreneurship, enterprise, skills and culture to support the Marine and Maritime sectors.

Richard Mawdsley, director of development for Wirral Waters at Peel Land and Property, said: “We are really excited to have appointed two such internationally acclaimed architects to deliver our new Maritime Knowledge Hub”.

“The design of the Hub and the regeneration of the tower has to be something truly special with education, history and culture at its very core. The tower is a very important local asset, full of history and heritage and it’s only right that it takes centre stage of the Wirral Waters regeneration project.”

Our Managing Director, Julian Baker, reacted to the announcement: “We are delighted to have been chosen to work alongside Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects on this exciting project. It represents a fantastic opportunity to bring this truly unique building back to life acting as both a beacon of excellence and catalyst for future projects within the Wirral Waters regeneration framework.”


The winning Schmidt Hammer Lassen concept

An animated cutaway section of our concept scheme

This appointment is testament to the combined talents of the EWA Liverpool office as well as the wider firm – from those who were directly involved in completing the submission to the internal design reviews that helped sharpen the concept, as well as all who have contributed to our track record of successfully delivering challenging new and refurbishment projects – from the Baltic in Gateshead to the Storyhouse in Chester. With this combination of concept, delivery and enthusiasm, we’re looking forward to delivering an exciting world-class scheme alongside our Danish collaborators.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects,, now part of global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will, is one of Scandinavia’s most recognized and award-winning architectural practices. The company was founded in Aarhus, Denmark in 1986 by Morten Schmidt, Bjarne Hammer, and John F. Lassen, and works out of studios located in Copenhagen, Aarhus, and Shanghai.


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