LJMU was granted planning permission today for the university’s new £100m flagship building on Copperas Hill. BDP won the commission to refurbish the former Royal Mail Centre close to Lime Street Station in July 2014.
Architect director Sue Emms said:
“Copperas Hill will be transformed into a friendly, student-centred hub providing a highly visible focus for the university. A walkway will encourage the public to walk through the building creating an attractive route from Lime Street to the Knowledge Quarter allowing the public to connect directly with the university.
“A new central atrium creates a spiritual heart and a sense of place within the building and learning terraces step up uniting all levels, users and activities. The terraces will animate the building externally and connect the city park at ground level to a sky garden on the roof. The highly glazed building will showcase LJMU and be transparent, open and connected. Copperas Hill will be a new destination in the city and create a vibrant heart for the university.”
The five storey building will be expanded to include two mezzanine floors and use of the roof for sports and recreation. It will house the university’s library, restaurants and retail space, and student zones will be created around the building to accommodate different working methods, including quiet spaces and areas for creative and collaborative working.
A flexible central teaching unit will include a variety of lecture theatres, as well as general teaching spaces, seminar rooms and IT suites. The building will also be home to the Students’ Union, providing a central location for its administrative functions, as well as enabling easy access to the facilities for its clubs and societies.
LJMU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nigel Weatherill, commented:
“Sometimes the term transformational is overused but the impact of the new development at Copperas Hill cannot be overestimated. Importantly for LJMU it will revolutionise the student experience and the physical shape of the university but it will also have a highly positive effect on the city itself.”
Building contractors, Lendlease are already on site undertaking enabling works and during May will remove the exterior of the former Royal Mail sorting office to expose the internal frame, which will then form the basis of the new structure. It is expected the new building will be open for use at the start of the academic year 2018.