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Contents p.4 ................................................................ Synopsis p.6 ......................................................... Site Location p.8 ................................................................. Analysis p.20 .................. Manifesto & Concept Development p.36 ........................................Urban Design Proposal p.48 ....................................... Environmental Strategy p.51 ...................................................... Cost Appraisal p.54 .............................................................. Appendix




Our project began with the raw reaction to context at its very core - by building on the already well-established industrial framework of Cammell Lairds, we attempted to create a template for future growth through the manipulation an existing typology – the industrial town. This particular typology came to fruition in the early part of the 20th Century with realisations such as Bournville, Saltaire and more locally Port Sunlight. We adapted this framework to suit a modern context but the more defining characteristics remained true to their original vision. All residents are employees of the Cammell Lairds and LJMU Lairdside co-operative and each of these own shares in their community as a whole. Our ambition was to knit into the existing urban fabric by plugging into the physical context to the West of the site and re-animating the edge of the River Mersey to the East, thereby serving the existing residents of Birkenhead and also those of the proposed intervention. The promenade, which we introduced as a means of bringing people closer to the edge is almost paradoxical in nature as it makes a clear reference to the linear nature of “the edge”, as it exists, whilst simultaneously disregarding the line between land and water as a definitive end point and instead reaches out, past it, towards Liverpool’s most iconic buildings. The progression of spaces and the inverted park typography were intended to create tension between the old and the new, each complimenting the other. Although there is a lack of contextual continuity at the masterplan scale, this project was more about the harmony that exists at various extruded scales as well as projected, anticipated scales. This would ultimately create a fractal-like system of progression where other similar settlements were able to attain the potential to materialise, creating an interlocking continuity of context at a citywide and potentially nationwide scale. The parti diagram for this project represents all of this thinking as a translation into a physical reality, with a high-density residential nucleus at its core with servant or satellite buildings then serving it (and vice versa). This whole system is set within a large park meaning that the walk (as there is no vehicular access to any building) to and from every element becomes a journey through a natural landscape. This eliminates the need for private gardens thus de-fragmenting the line between the built, and natural environments as well as encouraging strong community cohesion. This community bond is further strengthened through the cultivation of crops intended to subsidize the food intake of the entire community. 4


Site Location

United Kingdom

North West










2015 - Conservation areas in Red, Listed Buildings in Blue 9

History of Cammell Lairds

Timeline 1820 1824

1840 1841

1860 1860

The Company John Laird was joined was founded by Death of William Laird in the business by his William Laird, who three sons, had established the Birkenhead Iron Works 1862 1853-1856 1828 John Laird joins his farthers company and their first ship was built, an iron barge

Construction of the first “graving dock”

CSS Alabama that was built for the Confederate States of America, Their most proclaimed war ship

1856 The world’s first steel ship was built in Birkenhead, the Ma Roberts









1977 2007 1986 During World War II Nationalised along with Yard purchased by The Lairds were joined The first all-welded the shipyard produced the rest of the British Peel Holdings Returned to the private in business by the ship in the world built nearly 200 vessels shipbuilding industry sector Cammell Shipbuilding by Cammell Laird. both commercial and as British Shipbuilders company military in support of 2008 the UK war effort 1903

1905 Construction of Outer Basin commenced


1938 The Mauretania was built, the largest ship ever in England at the time

1993 1950 Cammell Laird employed roughly 16,000 men

Following the compleation of submarine vessel HMS Unicorn, the yeard was closed

It was announced that the company had won a £28m Ministry of Defence contract to overhaul the Royal Fleet

2015 1874 Death of John Laird

Recived prefered bidder status for the construction of new Polar exploration vessel securing 500 jobs

Expansion & decrease of Cammell Lairds


Significant Public Functions/Buildings Pt. 1


Significant Public Functions/Buildings Pt. 2


Significant Public Functions/Buildings Pt. 3


Boundaries & Edges

Zones generated via the boundaries & edges


Land topography study of the site



Green Spaces

Building Functions 17

Vistas & Views



Manifesto & Concept Development

Concept Sketch


Once our concept was finalized we required a system that could dissect the area whilst simultaneously relating to the immediate context, the wider context and also relate strongly to both the East and West edges of the site. We also needed to tie into the existing fabric, almost creating continuations of the existing grid and drawing people to the waters edge in the form of a promenade, which flanks the site and allows free, flowing pedestrian movement along the North/ South axis.

To begin with, nodes were placed at 75m intervals along the promenade to ensure the nearest entrance/ exit was never more than 37.5m away. Lines were then drawn to physical openings in the existing fabric. The points of intersection created natural nuclei. There were many versions of this grid, each exploring deeper complexities – the latest is a manifestation of many drafts and contains a great deal of design intention.


A framework to reinvigorate coastal towns & cities

REANIMATE THE EDGE: A focal point in the form of a promenade/board-walk offering views out AN ABUNDANCE OF GREEN SPACE: Allotments, parks and green-ways become a priority INTEGRATE PUBLIC REALMS/SQUARES: Give spaces of quality & usability to the residents/visitors INCORPORATE THE LOCAL INDUSTRY: Sustain industry through educational and cultural events MAXIMISE EXISTING CONTEXT & FABRIC: Reconnect the waters edge to land, utilise topography and improve existing routes CREATE DENSITY & ACTIVITY: A varied typology of residential, social & cultural buildings are intertwined to remove barriers INCREASE QUALITY OF LIFE: A unified community to live, work & play is available to everyone CONNECT WITH THE OUTSIDE: Introducing green spaces on both a physical & visual level across all areas PEDESTRIAN CONSCIOUS: The restriction of vehicles to increase pedestrian access, movement & functionality SELF SUSTAINED COMMUNITY: Co-operative ownership & a set of fundamental principles will be implemented



Comparison of population densities across other cities/towns


The required amount of homes needed to house 3000 people based on standard UK housing systems (without gardens) the diagram highlights the need to build in compact clusters of high density housing. This ensures the maximum possible area of usable green space. 24

Conceptual models used to exploe the idea of a core structure, a nucleus, which is supported by a number of satellite buildings.


Variations of different form masses Pt. 1


Variations of different form masses Pt. 2


This diagram depicts our intentions for the edge treatment between the A41 and our site. The vertical lines represent trees in both their height and proximity to their neighbours. We wanted to express, through the manipulation of the natural environment, the way in which people could move in and out of the site, with the most penetrable section being that of the crossing between our main East/West axis and Hamilton Square. 28

The diversity & range of Urban Parks around the world From Left to Right; Birkenhead Park, Hyde Park, Luxembourg Park, Guelle Park, Central Park


Size comparison between existing Urban Parks & the proposed scale of our project


Analysis of the pedestrian flow & access routes through Urban Parks


Highlighting the typical Urban Park typology in which the surrounding edge is built upon, leaving the park within the middle and surrounded by a dense urban fabric


The projects proposal is to take the typical Urban Park typology and invert it thus creating a central core of density surrounded by arable land


Radio City Tower

Royal Liver Building

Metropolitan Cathedral

Anglican Cathedral

Woodside Ferry Terminal

Hamilton Sq.

The Priory

The grid we created frames views of iconic Liverpool buildings such as the Three Graces, the Radio City Tower and both of the cities Cathedrals as well as more local vertical landmarks such as the Tower of Hamilton Square and the ventilation tower to the North. The grid contains layers upon layers of complex thinking, it relates to every axis in three dimensions creating the strongest possible foundation on which to build.



Urban Design Proposal

The views across to Liverpool actively activate the edge condition based on their own merits, all that was required was to give people a reason to actually go there, the rest would take care of itself. Each of the main icons of Liverpool have their counterparts on this side of the river in the form of mini-piers which are actually extensions of the path network extruded out into the water to almost exudate the views by visibly and physically tying Liverpool to Birkenhead, theoretically reducing the void between the two.


Masterplan 37

Section A - A


Axo Masterplan 39

Building Phases & demographic Positioning

Services Supporting Services 40

Nucleus & Satellite Buildings

The Bigger Picture


Sequential Visual Walkthrough







Environmental Strategy

The environmental strategy for our scheme is realised by a number of key considerations and is primarily based on the creation of green landscapes and the planting of hundreds of new trees. As well as increasing the overall quality of the urban environment, green spaces offer a plethora of advantages to the site and the surrounding community. Parks offer fantastic recreational space for people to exercise, relax and enjoy as well as simultaneously enhancing the sustainable credentials of our scheme. Other prominent environmental considerations include measures to improve the water quality of the Mersey as well as flood control, and the omission of all private motor vehicles on the site, thus emphasising the value we place on both pedestrian and cycle movement networks. Along with the well-documented social, health and economic values of parks, green spaces are an incredibly valuable asset to any environmental strategy. The park will help to create a microclimate around the urban core of the site effecting the air temperature, relative humidity and solar radiation of the immediate environment. On hot summers days, soft landscaping can be as much as 15 0c cooler than hard surfaces creating a more pleasant environment for its inhabitants. The creation of an inviting and successful park will involve the planting of in excess of 2500 trees, covering roughly 5 percent of the site or about one hectare in a forested strip surrounding the edge of the site. Trees help by removing CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis to form carbohydrates that are used in plant structure/function and return oxygen back into the atmosphere as a by product. This will greatly increase the air quality of the surrounding environment. On average, one hectare of forest can absorb about 6 tons of carbon annually. Young saplings absorb CO2 at a rate of as much as 6 kilograms per tree each year. Trees reach their most productive stage of carbon storage at about 10 years at which point they are estimated to absorb as much as 22 Kilograms of CO2 per year. The trees planted will significantly reduce the carbon footprints of the people who live on the site and produce more than enough oxygen to sustain all 3000 residents. (see appendix, Reference 1) There are many additional benefits of planting trees in urban environments. These include, but are not limited to, reducing noise pollution from surrounding industry and have been proven to have positive effects on peoples physical and mental health whilst promoting a general sense of well-being. Numerous studies-

have shown that people recover from illness quicker simply by looking at trees. (See appendix, Reference 2) Fruit trees can also yield produce that can be consumed by the local population - the climate in Birkenhead would be suitable for apple and plum trees. This will work in tandem with a series of allotment gardens, which are dotted around the park forming a patchwork of arable land – these are available to the whole community for the growing of fruit and vegetables. Grass cuttings and organic waste from the rest of the site is stored and can be utilized as compost, fertilizing the allotments. The trees and the grassland that they sit in provide ample new habitats for a diverse range of indigenous animal and plant life. The park will include areas of semi-wild landscaping left un-interfered by park maintenance workers, specifically designated for wildlife and wild-flowers to thrive in completely natural habitats. To further protect and conserve both the air quality and the newly generated habitats, the use of private motor vehicles will be prohibited on the site. A heavy emphasis will therefore be placed on cycling and walking within the community. Key routes through the site will be split into walking and cycle lanes allowing safe and free flowing traffic for pedestrians and cyclists alike. Every building will have secure, free to use public bicycle storage with maintenance facilities on hand to repair punctures and other mechanical issues. Improvements to the ferry and bus service as well as the already comprehensive rail network will connect the site to its wider context reducing the need for a private vehicle.


Due to the projects proximity to a major waterway, as well as the links to the maritime industry through Cammell Lairds, the protection and enhancement of water quality in the River Mersey was a crucial developmental factor. The proposed park will protect the river by filtering nitrates leaching from the soil into the water supply and reducing surface water runoff, keeping phosphorus and other pollutants out of the river. By absorbing rainfall the parkland will also reduce the risk of flooding as well as creating floodplains in the unfortunate event of a significant flood, protecting the property and safety of the population. The abundance of trees on site will provide a natural drainage system to aid in water interception, storage and infiltration whilst also increasing evaporation potential.

overall environmental strategy. The schemes environmental strategy outlines key points that the individual buildings will have to comply with. The individual buildings’ environmental policy will ensure that buildings will be designed with aims towards Passivhaus standards and that local materials will be used where possible. This policy will be included in the design brief issued to architects designing the individual buildings within the masterplan. The projects energy ambitions are linked with Cammell Lairds involvements in offshore wind farms. The shipyard is currently working as a base port for the construction of the Gwynt y Môr wind farm in the Irish Sea (See appendix, Reference 3). Assuming the success of the project currently underway, the company could use the knowledge and experience gained in the endeavour to create its own offshore wind farm to service the new urban design proposals as well as a larger portion of the Northwest, vastly reducing the demand on energy extracted from fossil fuels.

The maritime research and training facilities, which are integral to the scheme, include departments whose intentions lie in cleaning up our planets waters including research into the reduction of plastics and other pollutants from our oceans and the re-establishment of the populations of marine wildlife. As well as restoring the equilibrium of our planets waterways, their primary work should lead to significant improvements in the quality of the waterways immediately surrounding our project in and around Merseyside. The structures proposed will be built and designed in an environmentally aware and conscious way with long term sustainability in mind. Each building’s environmental credentials will be assessed individually, ensuring they tie in with the 49


Cost Appraisal

The final projections based upon the cost analysis equates to a completion cost of £710,526,807 and a capital value of £643,879,310 with the overall site value coming to -£163,229,394. In essence the philosophy of the project acts as an investment to Cammell Lairds, in providing a better quality of life for the employees, a Centre of excellence in maritime technologies and research as well as providing new tourist attractions through forms of museums and galleries to rejuvenate Birkenhead as a whole. The development proposes a varied apartment structure offering 55m2, 65m2 and 100m2 apartments. This equates to a gross area of 200,000m2 to accommodate the 3,000 people who will live within the residential sector. The site itself spans a total of 22 hectares, between the waters edge and the historic Hamilton square, of which 16 Hectares is designated to parkland.

overall scheme by reducing the need for extra costs through hiring maintenance staff.

The quality of life was paramount to the success of the scheme, with the driven focus of the park contributing to the central nucleus of built form, reducing the typical urban sprawl of various building typologies, all of which comes at cost which will be sacrificed from profits. The effect parkland can have upon property value, has not been studied in which it can be translated into monetary value, however it is seen as an implementation that creates Hedonic Value. The subtle tendency that urban parks have to create more for the community is evident in the following categories.

The “concrete jungle” as cities are often referred to is due to the abundance of hard surfaces whether it be the building structure or the road/ footpaths. The limited amount of green space provides little scope for the control of storm water, indicating the need for storm defence systems. More often than not with larger rainfall levels this ends up with roads being cut off and areas damaged from flooding. By introducing the various landscaping with an abundance of vegetation and tree-lined walkways, a great natural environment is provided to soak up any excess water. This in turn could also act as a flood defence with rising water levels from the Mersey should it ever elevate past the existing barrier.

Health Value A vast influx of vegetation is beneficial in many aspects, as mentioned in the environmental section there are many benefits health wise to be had, whether it be psychologically through being surrounded by nature or the physical, with people becoming less active they will be encouraged to exercise and go for walks through the park as opposed to traditional hectic city living. Reduce environmental impact

Tourism Value Residential Plan The economical value of tourist attractions is well documented, in that it provides an almost unpredictable source of income. The more people drawn to the area through attractions such as the park itself or even events happening within the park will vastly increase the value of nearby amenities. Direct Use Value In the community aspect of creating a new town for the employees of Cammell Lairds, it is important to introduce the space for them to explore and become comfortable away from the workplace. The proposed system of having residents designated areas in which to maintain not as a job but in the community aspect of working together to keep the areas protected. In this instance it can benefit the -

The plans in position for the residences within the scheme are based around the company town philosophy, which means the homes are owned and maintained by the company. The way in which this will work in terms of cost benefit will be through a potential wage structure, which incorporates living costs, as well as a potential shareholder policy. The advantage of this is to ensure the housing is affordable, with the other factors of a prime location, luxury apartments within a park etc. properties would become extremely valuable. To ensure everyone is accommodated for, this system will take into account apartment size and wage structures in order to keep everyone living comfortably.



Gross Area (m2)

Cost (£/m2) Running Costs (£)

Total Expected cost on completion


Site Value (in 2.5 years time)

The Museum & Gallery spaces are pivotal to increasing tourist attractions to the area; strong connections with the waterfront and strong links to Hamilton Square are key. The cost analysis only takes into account an estimated percentage of the area, which will potentially be governed by cafés or shops as a source of income. This however will also benefit from the Heritage Lottery Fund, a key figure in providing the funding for projects looking to restore the heritage of the area and with Cammell Lairds’ long history, this project is sure to expand on the existing museums situated in and around the Albert Dock. The sourcing for other investments also relates to the educational and research facilities proposed with the Maritime Centre of Excellence scheme, which will act as a key platform for the Cammell Lairds expansion. The opportunities in terms of this being a beneficial investment to Cammell Lairds, is paramount to the overall cost of the development, this is providing the gateway for future works, in which specialist skills can be taught and the integration from college to work becomes more natural. The research will also aid in developing new opportunities, with the new wind farm sites under construction this is becoming a new angle already from which the company can offer other services opposed to its traditional ship building heritage.


Cost Appraisal


Gross Area (m2)

Net Area (m2)

Annual Rent Value (£/m2)

Income (£)

Yield (%)


Capital (£)









Restaurants/ Cafes
























Museum Retail/ Cafe @30%








Gallery Retail/ Cafe @30%








Total Income

Capital Value






Figures Table to support the cost appraisal Uses

Gross Area (m2)

References 1. Trees Improve Our Air Quality – Urban Forestry Network, source available online at (

Cost (£/m2) Running Costs (£)





Restaurants/ Cafes








2. The Health Benefits of Trees, source available online at (











3. Cammell Laird - GWYNT Y MÔR WINDFARM, source available online at (http://

Gallery Museum & Ferry Terminal School Maritime College




Health/ Wellbeing








h 4. Risk of Flooding from Rivers and Sea, source available online at (http://watermaps.

Park/ Green Space










Demolition Industrial Residential Total

5. Making Contracts Work for Wildlife: How to Encourage Biodiversity in Urban Parks, source available online at (


6. Heritage Lottery Fund: Our Projects, source available online at (

Ancillary Costs Infrastructure, services etc. @ 6%



7. Measuring the Economic Value of a City Park System, source available online at (

Fees Architect, Quantity Surveyor etc. @12%


Contingencies @4% of Total Cost

8. Guidance on dereliction, demolition and remediation costs, source available online at (


Short-term Finance Total cost & Contingencies for half the building period @10% (1year)



Letting and Sales Fees Letting Fees @14% of income


Advertising and Marketing


Total Development Cost


Uses for Risk and Profit Gross Area Cost (£/m2) Running Costs (£) Return @15% of (m2) Capital Value £96,581,896 Total Expected cost on completion


Site Value (in 2.5 years time)






Income (£)



Capital (£)


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