LJMU debates the future of the Mersey waterfronts

LJMU is hosting a symposium about the architecture on Liverpool’s iconic Waterfront, in light of Peel Holdings’ plans for both sides of the Mersey – ‘ Liverpool Waters’ and ‘Wirral Waters’ .

Entitled ‘Starchitecture on the Mersey?’, the symposium will debate if there is a need to review the future of the Mersey waterfronts by considering current proposals in comparison with other seminal projects worldwide in cities such as Bilbao, Abu Dhabi, Paris, and New York.

Ian Wroot, Architecture & Urban Design Programmes Leader at LJMU, commented: “There are cases where dazzling works by ‘starchitects’ have contributed not just to the profits of big projects but to their cultural and civic value. Their ‘image’ appeal, however, has led too often to superficial imitations masking fundamental error. Speaking at the symposium are Davide Ponzini and Michele Nastasi, both of Politecnico di Milano, who argued in their book ‘ Starchitecture: Scenes, Actors & Spectacles In Contemporary Cities’ that the successes and failings of many such projects may be understood through the politics, financing and methods of their procurement. This debate will form part of the basis for the symposium.”

Also speaking at the event will be Paul Finch OBE, Editorial Director of Architectural Review & Architects’ Journal; LJMU Honorary Fellow Rod Holmes, Mersey Partnership Chair and Project Director for Liverpool ONE; David Dunster: Emeritus Roscoe Professor of Architecture, University of Liverpool; Jack Self, Reviews Editor at Architectural Review and editor of Real Estates: Life without Debt, Rob Burns, Urban Design Manager for Liverpool City Council and Trevor Skempton, Design Advisor to Liverpool City Council 2003-09 and Board Member of the Design Commission for Wales.

The event takes place on Thursday, 22 January 2015 at 1pm in The Moot Chapel, John Foster Building, 80-98 Mount Pleasant. Seats must be reserved in advance at www.urbandesignljmu.com and a suggested donation of £3 is payable on the door.

Taking place alongside the symposium is an exhibition by students of the Architecture and Urban Design Masters Programmes at the University. Held at the John Lennon Art and Design Building, the exhibition includes proposals for the territory between Peel’s Liverpool Waters site and the Eldonian Village in Vauxhall and a similar territory in Marseille. The exhibition is free to attend. See www.ljmu.ac.uk/events for more details.

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About Us

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has over 180 years’ experience educating students in a wide range of disciplines, spanning the arts, humanities, education, health, science and technology and we offer a diverse range of undergraduate degrees, postgraduate taught programmes and research opportunities. Over 95% of research submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 was of international quality or higher, with more than 70% of impact activity rated internationally excellent or world-leading. We are one of the top performing new universities in the UK for Architecture and Built Environment, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, General Engineering, Physics and Sports-Related Studies. LJMU also continues to be one of the UK’s leading higher education institutions for our interaction with business and the community. We are currently ranked in the top 40 UK universities for staff and graduate start-up companies and in the top 20 for spin-off companies.

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