Mann Island Buildings
|Mann Island Buildings|
Mann Island Building 3 under construction in April 2011
|Location||Mann Island, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom|
60.0 m (197 ft)
50.4 m (165 ft)
49.4 m (162 ft)
|Design and construction|
|Developer||Countryside Properties, Neptune Developments|
|Services engineer||Cundall Johnston and Partners|
The Mann Island Buildings are a group of buildings in Liverpool, England. They comprise three international style mixed use buildings on Mann Island, which lies on the waterfront between the Port of Liverpool Building and the Albert Dock.
Formerly rundown warehouses and dock buildings, the site directly between two of Liverpool's most historic buildings was heavily investigated before numerous proposals for new builds were submitted as part of a competition to create a 'Fourth Grace'. Three proposals were submitted, all of which received criticism for their appearance and contrast to the city's famed historic skyline.
The work of Alsop Architects was chosen to become the 'Fourth Grace', however, it was beset with difficulties, and was cancelled in 2004 due to spiralling costs. It was only after all of these ideas were scrapped when the £120 million Mann Island Development was chosen to become the new complex to occupy the site.
Construction of the buildings, which are similar in height to the nearby Port of Liverpool Building, Cunard Building and Royal Liver Building began in 2008 during Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture (when regeneration within the city centre was at its peak). At the same time, work also began on a close neighbour to the Mann Island development - the new Museum of Liverpool (not to be confused with World Museum Liverpool). Although the buildings will have different heights and usage, each will consists of 13 storeys. Once completed, the Mann Island Buildings will be home to 376 apartments (a mix of one, two and three bedroom), 75,000 sq ft (7,000 m2) of retail/leisure units, 114,000 sq ft (10,600 m2) of net office space and 20,000 sq ft (1,900 m2) of covered space.
No.15, next to the Museum of Liverpool, is called the Latitude building and No.11 is the Longitude building. Connecting the two is a double-height glass atrium called Equator House which often hosts RIBA architectural displays and launch events for the Open Eye Gallery next-door. Both Latitude and Longitude are mixed commercial and residential spaces, with restaurants, cafés and galleries on the ground floor, and accommodation starting on the 2nd floor (there is a gap in the 1st floor, that was originally meant to be a mezzanine for the commercial spaces below, but has thus far remained unused). No.1 Mann Island, next to the Strand, is occupied almost entirely by Merseytravel and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Two levels of car-parking extend beneath the Latitude and Longitude buildings, which is shared between residents and Merseytravel staff.
Critical response to the development has been mixed. Alistair Sutherland (designer of Preston Crown Court and panel member of LUDCAP) declared it "a positive contribution" to the waterfront, and "a complimentary contrast" to its neighbours; others have been more critical The Daily Post in particular lamented the loss of several keys views of the Pier head World Heritage Site.
In 2012, it was nominated alongside the ArcelorMittal Orbit and Belfast's Titanic museum for the Carbuncle Cup, an architecture prize given annually by the magazine Building Design to "the ugliest building in the United Kingdom completed in the last 12 months."
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