With Homebaked: Designing

A Saturday afternoon here, spent as a member of Homebaked Community Land Trust looking for inspiration, as we now near the end of our first, year long phase, doing the basic design of the new building that will eventually rise next to the Homebaked Community Bakery.Architecture - 4This is a day of two architects, both at the centre of the picture here. Marianne Heaslip, of Urbed and long-time friend of all of us here, together with Toby Wallis of Architectural Emporium who have been working with us now since March last year.

Our collective brief today, in Toby’s words, we are:

“Looking for sustainable features of neighbouring buildings,
Looking at building materiality, aesthetics and durability,
And looking at old and new building junctions.”

Gathered here in Hope Street, Liverpool.

Gathered here in Hope Street, Liverpool.

In Architectural Emporium's offices.

In Architectural Emporium’s offices.

Marianne’s particularly here for her environmental and energy advice and experience. So we spend a while discussing things like ‘green-washing’ and the corporate drivel that can often stand in for real considerations in actual contexts of what true sustainability might mean to particular groups of people in their real place.

We of course are a very particular group of people… and work carefully with Marianne and Toby defining what kinds of sustainability we’re going for on our North Liverpool high street that runs between Everton and Anfield, right outside Liverpool FC’s ground. Wanting things like low fuel bills and natural materials, along with a place that’s comfortable and uncomplicated to live and work in, along with being a building of grace and style that will last and adapt, long beyond the lives of all of us sat here designing it today and the many many other locals who have worked on it with us for so long now.

As we get closer to the end of this phase we’re getting a bit nervous about making sure that what we’ll recommend building is also a little bit magical. That’s why we’ve gathered ourselves in a new place for the group today, to go round the neighbourhood with Toby and Marianne and look around at the things Toby listed at the beginning. Look around and see what magic we might find.

We all put our coats on and go out.

We all put our coats on and go out for an inspirational look around.

And I’m not going to overload what I write with architectural opinions on here. Cally Anne Highfield has done her own report of this day over on Homebaked’s blog. So just a quick look round:

The Sterling Prize winning Everyman first, obviously.

The Sterling Prize winning Everyman first, obviously.

Pretty much liked and treasured by us all.

Pretty much liked and treasured by us all.

Particularly this brilliant and permanent way of telling the world it's for all of us.

Particularly this brilliant and permanent way of telling the world it’s for all of us.

But remember we’re also looking at ways new buildings like this tie in with existing buildings next to them, as we’ll be doing that with our own Bakery.

It's difficult. And opinions were mixed about how well it's been achieved here.

It’s difficult. And opinions are mixed about how well it’s been achieved here.

Next, through the Pen Factory.

Next, through The Pen Factory. A design by Architectural Emporium working closely, of course, with Paddy Byrne.

To see how precious artefacts from the Everyman's past...

To see how precious artefacts from the Paddy’s Everyman past…

Have been given a place of honour next door.

Have been given a place of honour next door.

And an appreciation of the new Everyman isn't complete until you see how much better the rear is than what went before.

An appreciation of the new Everyman isn’t complete until you see how much better the rear is than what went before.

Next Toby showed us somewhere none of us liked.

Next Toby shows us somewhere none of us like.

The new students apartment building on the corner with Myrtle Street.

The new students apartment building on the corner with Myrtle Street.

A similar length of Hope Street frontage to what we’ll build and a stern warning to us all, particularly when compared to the beautiful Everyman at the other end of the same street. Getting a new building right is a careful art and this one’s barely even tried. Artificial brick stuck on as a facade, paving stones on their side as a column feature. I could go on.

I enjoyed standing on the roof of the Hope Street hotel watching the giant cranes put this together.

I enjoyed standing on the roof of the Hope Street Hotel watching the giant cranes put this together.

but it's a piece of pure crap.

But it’s a piece of pure crap.

Unlike the elegant new signage on the Philharmonic Hall opposite.

Unlike the elegant new signage on the Philharmonic Hall opposite.

And the gorgeous lighting to tell you you're entering somewhere special.

And the gorgeous lighting to tell you you’re entering somewhere special.

And talking of the Hope Street Hotel?

And talking of the Hope Street Hotel?

We have a look at that next.

We have a look at that next.

Opinions again being mixed.

Opinions again being mixed.

Some wondering what’s going on up at the top there? Those of us who’ve been up there appreciating that it does actually work once you’re in the hotel.

But it's somehow not 'Anfield'

But is it somehow not ‘Anfield’?

Next the new Music Room at the rear of the Philharmonic Hall.

Next the new Music Room at the rear of the Philharmonic Hall.

I have it on good authority that it’s a lovely space inside.

So is that why the outside looks so skimped on? Is all that metal sustainable?

So is that why the outside looks so skimped on? Is all the money inside and is all that metal sustainable?

And as for joining up sympathetically with the older building?

And as for joining up sympathetically with the older building?

Architecture - 27

Externally, we’re not impressed.

Back onto Myrtle Street we look at the way some buildings elegantly announce their original functions.

Here id gilded brick.

Here in gilded lettering.

We imagine writing something about Homebaked on our own building?

We imagine writing something about Homebaked on our own building?

We also imagine getting back inside out of the hailstones.

We also imagine getting back inside out of the hailstones.

Where we spend the rest of our afternoon looking at the materials we might use.Architecture - 38Architecture - 40Architecture - 32 Architecture - 33 Architecture - 34

And talking with Toby...

And talking with Toby…

About the shape and possibilities for our building now emerging.

About the shape and possibilities for our building now emerging.

An inspirational day of architecture. Thanks Toby, thanks Marianne, thanks all.

An inspirational day of architecture. Thanks Toby, thanks Marianne, thanks all.

Now, on walking round with us all there you might have notice some alarming swings from a sunny day to a dark afternoon with added hailstones. Well the explanation for that is that, suspecting the weather might get worse, I’d spent the hour before our gathering anticipating where Toby might take us and taking the sunny photos I’ve interspersed into our walk above.

I correctly guessed the places he might show us and also a few I now know he would have done except the weather got too wet and cold to keep us all out in it. So, as much for the Homebaked Design Group as anyone else, here are the missing places from our inspirational walk!

Beginning with the elegant form and mass of the Georgian buildings of the Canning area.

Beginning with the elegant form and mass of the Georgian buildings of the Canning area.

Just along Bedford Street South a new building is attempting to match their scale in a modern style.

Just along Bedford Street South a new building is attempting to match their scale in a modern style.

Making interesting use of changing levels at the top.

Making interesting use of changing levels at the top.

As we might ourselves.

As we might ourselves.

Though the rest of the building looks like it's running out of inspiration.

Though the rest of the building looks like it’s running out of inspiration.

It's the replacement for the 60s brutalist but loved Myrtle Street Parade.

It’s the replacement for the 60s brutalist but loved Myrtle Street Parade.

Meanwhile, on the same street, classic high street buildings change use over time and still thrive.

Meanwhile, on the same street, classic high street buildings change use over time and still thrive.

Meanwhile opposite, something new, with more brick slips instead of real ones.

Meanwhile opposite, something new, with more brick slips.

It’s popular with students all day, so its retail units are full. But we’ll be looking to build something more inspirational and somehow lasting than that.

Talking of inspirational...

Talking of inspirational…

This temporary trash opposite is, for me, a model of what not to do with the front of your building.

This temporary trash opposite is, for me, a model of what not to do with the front of your building.

Down the side of the Philharmonic Hall. New student housing of no distinction.

Down the side of the Philharmonic Hall. New student housing of no distinction.

But its developers have done one interesting thing in demolishing the student barracks that were built here in the 1970s.

For the first time in over 40 years a path has been opened up from Myrtle Street through to the Belvedere pub.

For the first time in over 40 years a path has been opened up from Myrtle Street through to the Belvedere pub.

Architecture and planning as a service to humanity.

Architecture and planning as a service to humanity.

Leading us through to Falkner Street.

Leading us through to Falkner Street.

Charming and attractive with its awnings and its cobbles and probably not unlike how our Oakfield and Walton Breck Roads used to be. But not a look we can go for now, so we really are going to continue to think hard about how we pull off the trick of building something new that’s also inspirational, rather than much of the new but utilitarian and probably relatively temporary that we’ve seen around here today.

Something that will last.

Something that will last.

Maybe having many uses in its life?

Maybe having many uses in its life? Sustainable over time?

Purposes maybe recorded on the facade of the building itself?

Purposes which may be recorded on the facade of the building itself?

Though personally I'd like to see a plaque recording the fact that this also used to be the Trades Union and Unemployed Resource Centre from the 1980s on.

Though personally I’d like to see a plaque recording the fact that this also used to be the Trades Union and Unemployed Resource Centre from the 1980s on.

A building that contrast with and yet fits with its neighbours.

A building that contrasts with and yet fits with its neighbours.

That's unashamedly modern, like here in Maryland Street.

That’s unashamedly modern, like here off Maryland Street.

That works in its context.

That works in its context.

And looks elegant and easily maintained over time?

And looks elegant and easily maintained over time?

Oh well, perhaps not?

Oh well, perhaps not?

We know we're not designing a cathedral.

We know we’re not designing a cathedral.

Though this one didn't really work until it got its entrance right.

Though this one didn’t really work until it got its entrance right.

But we do want to light up and colour in the lives of everyone who comes into what we're coming up with!

But we do want to light up and colour in the lives of everyone who comes into what we’re coming up with!

You can now see a selection of my posts about working with Homebaked gathered together here. And Cally from Homebaked has also done her own report of this day over on their blog, which she writes.

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “With Homebaked: Designing

  1. pixieljs

    Wow what great work you have all being doing, very exciting times. I can see a great deal more debate before final designs are reached. Creating an environmentally friendly building with great architecture to fit with our local community that will inspire is just fantastic. Welldone Homebake

    Reply

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