I'm not so sure about the square trees



Liverpool Life I was passing by Concourse House this afternoon and noticed that it wasn't quite as tall as it used to be. I've spoken before about the Lime Street Gateway redevelopment in relation to a bookshop moving out, and those shops have been demolished and now the other major section, this office block, where La Machine slept one night, is slowly being removed one piece of masonry at a time.

I'm usually quite sentimental about any building that that's demolished, especially if its something I've had to pass-by nearly every day on my way to somewhere, but I've none of those feelings here. There was once a cafe at the foot of the building and I do wonder what happened to that -- if they relocated -- I remember there being protests at its closure -- but other than that I couldn't care less, I'm glad that it's going. I'm already thinking about it in the past tense.

It was embarrassing way to introduce Liverpool to visitors, especially those who'd been led to believe that we had such a great architectural heritage. We have some great modernist architecture in Liverpool, including the Sydney Jones Library at the university but seriously, this was not one of those and deserves to be going (no matter what these people say). I recently learned that the building was never full, and I'm not surprised. If you were trying to attract clients, would you want their first impression to be this clash of concrete and glass and what looks like wood beading?

I only went inside once; between school and university in the early 90s I was casting about for work and signed up with the Manpower Services who had an outlet on the first or second floor (and giant sign across the windows which blanked out the sun for the people working inside). It was my first taste of what an open plan office looked like and it scared me, so much so that I'm sure I might even have vowed never to return to somewhere so synthetic and anti-human again. If only I'd known.

Liverpool City Council's website has an artist's impression of what to expect when the development is complete. The idea is to give the station, a marvelous piece of architecture dating from the 1830s, room to breath for the first time in decades. I'm particularly pleased to see that the plan for a new circular residential tower in place of Concourse House has been dropped, though I'm not so sure about the square trees, but the new approach, a piazza and steps leading up to front door will be incredibly striking.

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