Friday, 25 September 2009

Liverpool at last

The start: the top of the four locks leading down to Stanley Dock - each prepared and worked for us by the BW team. From here the 'old' route was out through the dock and into the River Mersey.
Too big to capture in a single shot, the huge Tobacco Dock warehouse - Grade One listed and waiting for someone brave enough to tackle its redevelopment. When built in 1900 it was said to be the largest brick building in the world with 27 million bricks! A major issue for any redevelopment is that the internal ceilings are unusably low so every other ceiling would have to be removed.
The dockside Victoria Clock Tower positioned between the two river entrance gates at Collingwood Dock and built to give ships an accurate timing of their movements in and out of the tidal Mersey.
Old and new - so much of the dockside has been redeveloped but so much remains to be tackled. Here the Link runs in a temporary channel so it can be re-routed if necessary to accommodate future development in the area.
An iconic image of modern Liverpool - the elegant new footbridge across Princes Dock, new office blocks and the famous Liver Building. The footbridge was designed by Arup and floated down the Mersey to its destination.
Into Princes Dock with the Liver Building ahead.
The last of three short tunnels takes the new Link route under the starkly modern Liverpool Museum which opens next year. This remarkable structure has cost £72m and is the largest national museum built in Britain in the last 100 years. Danish architect 3XN designed the concept Manchester-based architect AEW did the detailed design.The exterior is clad in natural Jura stone on a complex 2000 tonne steel frame.
Mann Island lock takes us through into Canning Dock.
And from here we head left into the Albert Dock, the best known of the complex of Grade One listed docks and now home to the Maritime Museum, Tate Gallery and a bevy of coffee shops, bars and restaurants.
Built in 1846, the Albert Dock buildings were the first structures in Britain to be built without structural timber - using cast iron, brick and stone instead. That also made them the first non-combustible warehouses in the world. Another new feature was that goods went directly from to and from ships and warehouses.
Finally closed in 1972, they lay derelict for ten years until renovation began. Today they form the largest collection of Grade One listed buildings in Britain and are an integral part of Liverpool's designation as a World Heritage Mercantile Marine City.
Lastly, a turn into Salthouse Dock and we have to do a quick bit of maneouvring as the 'Yellow Duck-marine' amphibious tour bus comes out through the dock entrance.

1 comment:

scott davidson said...

What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT475.
The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.