A waterside area occupied by disused nineteenth-century docks and flour mills is set to be transformed in the first phase of residential development at this brownfield site. Having laid derelict for over twenty years, the site adjacent to the Great Float Docks will be transformed into six buildings offering a total of 500 one- and two-bedroom apartments, including 100 affordable homes.
Buildings will be animated at street level and connect seamlessly with high quality waterside boulevards, public squares, green spaces and the wider Wirral Waters masterplan. Located by the water’s edge with plentiful open space and pocket parks, cafés and shops nearby, the picture-postcard looking scheme brings city dwellers closer to nature with a location and identity unique to the region.
The design reflects a contemporary interpretation of the contextual warehouses once present on Birkenhead Docks. The tower and mansion buildings at either end of the site raise up to mark the key junction at Duke Street and providing a ‘book end’ to the development.
The warehouse buildings in-between are at a comfortable height not competing with the marker buildings either side and also reflecting the large scale of the nearby Grain Warehouses. These will feature a strong saw-tooth roof line that makes reference to the neighbouring wharf architecture will create character and provide the project with a strong waterside silhouette - giving identity within the wider masterplan. The orientation and linear footprint of each building ensures that every unit has a view of the water.
A simple, yet robust, attitude towards detailing has been employed using a limited palette of materials. Elevations will be articulated by the use of modern construction technologies with the opportunity to utilise a range of metal cladding textures to provide further differentiation within the site. Inspiration has been drawn on the materiality of the brightly coloured metalwork, ships, graphics and metal-clad warehouses present throughout the site and Wirral to further reference the historical context of the scheme.
Colour is a key aspect of the site aesthetic that was comprehensively tested to ensure the right vibrancy and character is achieved for the site and the Wirral Waters masterplan. By using bold colours and metal cladding in the scheme, this will create extraordinary moments when the light reflects on the facade and the facade reflects into the water, creating that memorable ‘picture postcard’ moment.
By creating a distinctive place and achieving a very high standard of design quality and sustainability, the scheme will provide a benchmark for future residential development within the Wirral Waters masterplan.