LIVERPOOL CENTRAL LIBRARY

“It’s like going to meet your gran and finding she’s turned into Beyoncé’

Liverpool Central Library

The Liverpool Central Library and Archive Project is a unique and prestigious scheme within the heart of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site. The project provided a 8000m2 library and specialist archive and restored 4000m2 of Grade II* Listed historic buildings on William Brown Street.

A new 6-floor library, with an exciting atrium, gives the City of Liverpool a library for the 21st Century. The library connects to the historic Picton Library, the Hornby Library and Oak Room giving these areas a new lease of life and bringing them into public use.

A new archive repository provides storage for Liverpool’s most valuable collections and includes first class facilities for preservation and research.

Press and Publications
Liverpool Library video from Wash Design

Daily Mail News Article

Image credits: Shepherd Construction

It’s like going to meet your gran and finding she’s turned into Beyoncé
Frank Cottrell  Boyce

Central Library is without doubt one of the most significant and celebrated buildings in Liverpool and its restoration is more than just bringing a venue back into use – its investing in the heritage of the city.
Breathtaking development.
Joe Anderson – mayor of Liverpool

LOCATION: LIVERPOOL

CLIENT: LIVERPOOL CITY COUNCIL/INSPIRE PARTNERSHIP

VALUE: £50m

COMPLETION: PHASE 1 2013. PHASE 2 2015
SERVICE: ARCHITECTURE, LANDSCAPE, INTERIORS, CONSERVATION
SECTOR: ARTS & CULTURE
CONTRACTOR: SHEPHERD CONSTRUCTION

LANDSCAPE: AUSTIN-SMITH: LORD
STRUCTURES: ROC CONSULTING
SERVICES: BURO HAPPOLD
COST CONSULTANT: SHEPHERD CONSTRUCTION

AWARDS:
2014 RIBA NW REGIONAL AWARD
2014 RIBA NW CONSERVATION AWARD
2014 RICS AWARD: NW PROJECT OF THE YEAR
2014 RICS AWARDS: NW COMMUNITY BENEFIT AWARD
2014 RICS AWARD: NW TRAVEL & TOURISM
2014 LANDSCAPE INSTITUTE AWARDS: HIGHLY COMMENDED
2013 BUILDING AWARD: BEST TECHNICAL INNOVATION
2013 NW REGIONAL CONSTRUCTION AWARDS: REGIONAL PROJECT OF THE YEAR
2013 LABC NW BUILDING EXCELLENCE AWARDS: REGIONAL WINNER

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HELENSBURGH TOWN CENTRE + ESPLANADE

Redesign of Colquhoun Square in the heart of the town centre, rejuvenation of all the principal surrounding streets and redevelopment of the West Bay Esplanade

Helensburgh Town Centre + Esplanade

The ambitious regeneration plans for Helensburgh were part of the Argyll and Bute Council CHORD initiative to improve economic activity in the town and enhance the visitor experience. Key aspects included the redesign of Colquhoun Square in the heart of the town centre, and redevelopment of all the principal surrounding streets and the West Bay Esplanade.

The design ethos was to create a town centre with attractive, usable and flexible public space thereby supporting community events, festivals and markets.

The town has held several successful events within their new square. These have attracted more people into the town centre and boosted trade for the local businesses, helping to support a sustainable economy.

The development of the ‘Outdoor Museum’ in Colquhoun Square has also provided a location and focus to display the rich and varied history of Helensburgh for local residents and visitors, both now and in the future.

I’m delighted with the quality of the work – the town centre looks fantastic….The project has seen a significant investment which will, I am sure, provide real, long lasting and tangible benefits to local people and businesses. We are already seeing significant private sector investment in the town and are hoping to use this project as a springboard to further growth.
Councillor Gary Mulvaney – chair of the Local Area Committee

The Austin Smith Lord design team which delivered the Helensburgh CHORD town centre and west bay esplanade public realm project for Argyll + Bute Council, acted professionally throughout the delivery of the project. Their senior management team was hands on and if there were any client concerns they quickly addressd them. The team are very client focussed, they respond quickly to requests for information and are willing to go the extra mile.
Helen Ford, Project Manager, Argyll & Bute Council

LOCATION: HELENSBURGH

CLIENT: ARGYLL & BUTE COUNCIL

VALUE: £6m

COMPLETION: 2015
SERVICE: LANDSCAPE, URBAN DESIGN, MASTERPLANNING
SECTOR: URBAN REGENERATION
CONTRACTOR: MACLAY CONSTRUCTION

LANDSCAPE: AUSTIN-SMITH: LORD
ENGINEERS: O’CONNOR SUTTON CRONIN
COST CONSULTANT: ROBINSON LOW FRANCIS
TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT: TRANSPORT PLANNING LTD
CONSULTATION & PLANNING: TURLEY ASSOCIATES
CONSULTATION & PUBLIC ART: WAVE

AWARDS:
2016 SCOTTISH DESIGN AWARD
2016 RIAS AWARD
2016 SALTIRE SOCIETY ARTS IN PUBLIC PLACES AWARD

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AIRDRIE TOWN HALL

Restoration of the Town Hall to its early 20th Century grandeur

Airdrie Town Hall

Austin-Smith:Lord has assisted North Lanarkshire Venues team in refurbishment and essential conservation and improvements to the category ‘B’ Listed Town Hall and theatre within Airdrie.

The aims of the project were to restore the town hall to its early 20th Century grandeur and to turn it into a more active and usable venue for various artists and community groups. It is the main theatre venue within the environs of Airdrie and aims to promote an increasing range of events in tandem with a regular series of events at Motherwell Civic Theatre.

The work involves completed replacement of the natural slate roof and extensive repairs and re-dressing of external stonework. A new DDA compliant entrance was created into new exhibition area with cafe and bar facilities situated in a contemporary side extension.

The raked stage and original hemp ropes and pulleys together with old technical equipment were fully replaced with new flying grid, lighting and sound systems controlled from new bespoke control rooms in the main Theatre Hall and upper Lesser Hall. A cinema system with retractable screen has also been installed.

With the knowledge evident within the team, Austin-Smith:Lord have managed the project very well, taking into account many challenges which have materialised during the project. The professional advice and assistance given to officers has been of great benefit and the team have developed an excellent professional relationship with the contractor. 

Jillian Ferrie – North Lanarkshire Council

LOCATION: AIRDRIE

CLIENT: NORTH LANARKSHIRE COUNCIL

VALUE: £3.5m

COMPLETION: 2012
SERVICE: ARCHITECTURE, CONSERVATION
SECTOR: ARTS + CULTURE, CIVIC
CONTRACTOR: GRAHAM CONSTRUCTION

STRUCTURES: NLC DESIGN SERVICES
SERVICES: DAVIE + MCCULLOCH
COST CONSULTANT: RC BROWN
LISTING: CATEGORY B

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BEDWELLTY HOUSE + PARK

Full restoration of this Grade II Listed 19th Century House and Parkland

Bedwellty House + Park

Austin-Smith:Lord was appointed to provide Architecture, Conservation and Landscape Design services for a project to restore this Grade II Listed 19th Century House and Parkland and incorporate new elements to complement and enhance the existing building.

Our work included the preparation of a detailed Conservation Management Plan and archaeological investigations, leading to the full restoration of this rare Regency period estate.

The buildings and park in Tredegar were transformed into a hub for the local community, and the project has become a major tourist destination in the Heads of the Valleys.

Bedwellty House was the site of key events in the life of leading politician Aneurin Bevan, and interactive displays and memorabilia throughout the house commemorate the father of the modern National Health Service.

The house is owned by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and under our proposals was transformed into a heritage asset, a Registry office and an elegant visitor attraction. The house has also become home to the local archives, and a new tea room was created in the old Orchid House.

Austin-Smith:Lord were an asset to the Bedwellty House and Park Restoration Project. The level of support and professionalism shown by all the staff involved with the project was excellent. This was a complex project delivered on time and within budget and ASL contributed greatly to that outcome. 

Frank Olding – Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

LOCATION: TREDEGAR

CLIENT: BLAENAU GWENT COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCIL

VALUE: £4.5m

COMPLETION: 2011
SERVICE: ARCHITECTURE, LANDSCAPE, CONSERVATION, INTERIORS
SECTOR: ARTS + CULTURE, CIVIC
CONTRACTOR: JOHN WEAVER CONSTRUCTION

LANDSCAPE: AUSTIN-SMITH: LORD
STRUCTURES: KPA ASSOCIATES
SERVICES: SILCOCK DAWSON
COST CONSULTANT: DAVIS LANGDON
LISTING: GRADE II

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CARMELITE MONASTERY

Brick Development Award winner: Purpose-built new monastery for the Carmelite Sisters in Liverpool

Carmelite Monastery

Austin-Smith:Lord was commissioned to design a new monastery for the Carmelite Sisters in Liverpool. The layout embodies the daily cycle of prayer, manual labour, communal mealtimes and private reflection.

The design is a modern interpretation of the monastic tradition. Silence and light articulates the architecture which is calm, ordered and uplifting.

The community includes a chapel, cloister, refectory, community room, library, workspaces, guest house, 24 cells, 2 hermitage cells and 6 fully accessible infirmary cells. As a home it is comfortable and modest, befitting the Carmelite philosophy.

Image copyright retained by SG Photography Ltd

Many architects were considered for this project and following an extensive selection process, Austin-Smith:Lord were chosen as a firm who embodied the vision, skill and standards of service that were a key requirement of the project. We have worked very closely with Austin-Smith:Lord over three years and have found their innovation in design refreshing, the attention to detail meticulous and the support and ability to work with other design team members refreshing. 

Peter Brack- Hardie Brack Chartered Surveyors

LOCATION: LIVERPOOL

CLIENT: MARTIN GRANGE DEVELOPMENTS LTD (CARMELITE SISTERS) / HARDIE BLACK

VALUE: CONFIDENTIAL

COMPLETION: 2014
SERVICE: ARCHITECTURE,  LANDSCAPE, INTERIOR DESIGN
SECTOR: CIVIC
CONTRACTOR: NOBLES CONSTRUCTION LTD

LANDSCAPE: THE APPLETON GROUP
STRUCTURES: MERCURY CONSULTING ENGINEERS LTD
SERVICES: MERCURY CONSULTING ENGINEERS LTD
COST CONSULTANT: HARDIE BRACK

AWARDS:
2013 BRICK DEVELOPMENT AWARDS: ARCHITECTS CHOICE INTERNATIONAL AWARD

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KILWINNING MAIN STREET

“A shining example of what can be achieved. The creative thinking behind this scheme has invigorated the town’s main street by attracting new business”

Kilwinning Main Street

Austin-Smith:Lord was initially appointed by Irvine Bay Urban Regeneration Company to provide a Town Regeneration Plan to guide the sustainable regeneration of Kilwinning.

Following this, we were appointed as Landscape Architects to provide public realm proposals for Kilwinning Main Street.

The Main Street is the key open space in Kilwinning and the project aimed to transform the historic setting of the Town Centre and the Abbey with high quality, design led public space improvements. The creation of an attractive, robust and adaptable streetscape will encourage the wider regeneration of the town. New paving, seating, lighting and landscaping all contribute to make this a dynamic space that will attract new business, create jobs and increase visitor numbers.

A shining example of what can be achieved. The creative thinking behind this scheme has invigorated the town’s main street by attracting new business…….This is a new beginning. Kilwinning is now on the up.

Alex Neil – Minister for Housing and Communities

LOCATION: NORTH AYRSHIRE

CLIENT: IRVINE BAY REGENERATION CO

VALUE: £2.5m

COMPLETION: 2008
SERVICE: LANDSCAPE
SECTOR: URBAN REGENERATION
CONTRACTOR: LAND ENGINEERING

LANDSCAPE: AUSTIN-SMITH: LORD
STRUCTURES: ATKINS
SERVICES: ATKINS
COST CONSULTANT: NEILSON PARTNERSHIP

AWARDS:
2011 SCOTTISH DESIGN AWARD COMMENDATION, PUBLIC REALM & LANDSCAPE
2011 SILVER ROSES DESIGN AWARD, PUBLIC REALM & LANDSCAPE

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PAISLEY TOWN HALL REFURBISHMENT

Conservation and refurbishment of the category A Listed Town Hall

Paisley Town Hall Refurbishment

Austin-Smith:Lord’s conservation accredited architects were appointed by Renfrewshire Council in late 2011 to undertake essential repairs and improvements to the category A Listed Town Hall, ahead of the 2013 Gaelic MOD.

The brief was to create a high class reception foyer and arrival space and to include a new front entrance ramp and stair arrangement that would respect DDA legislation and create a

true sense of arrival at the entrance to this landmark building in Paisley.

The project also addressed the urgent need to undertake the repair and re-instatement of missing masonry balusters at the wallhead, together with essential external fabric repairs to slate and lead areas of the roof under the assistance of building grant support from Historic Scotland.

ASL Performed well in their capacity and were able to bring real and valuable expertise to bear in the identification and packaging of works. Throughout, their officers have embraced the complexity of the refurbishment approach and have been diligent and professional In the hands of a less experienced consultant, the development would have been at considerable risk but ASL’s helpful and collaborative approach has ensured the project will be successfully delivered at the end of this summer. ASL have shown an aptitude for working on this major project, under considerable public scrutiny, and we would welcome working with them in the future. 

Neil Watson – Projects Manager, Renfrewshire Council 

LOCATION: PAISLEY

CLIENT: RENFREWSHIRE COUNCIL

VALUE: £2.4m

COMPLETION: 2013
SERVICE: ARCHITECTURE, CONSERVATION
SECTOR: ARTS & CULTURE, CIVIC
CONTRACTOR: CBC

STRUCTURES: URS
SERVICES: URS
COST CONSULTANT: ALLAN + HANEL
LISTING: CATEGORY A

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STRATEGIC COORDINATION CENTRE

This centre is a signal of Wales’ intent to provide a modern emergency service to the community

Strategic Coordination Centre

Austin-Smith:Lord’s first commission under the Government’s Buying Solutions Framework, the Strategic Coordination Centre for Dyfed Powys Police, was one of the most rapid projects the Practice has ever delivered. Appointment was at the end of October 2009 and a Planning Application was submitted in mid-December, with construction commencing in April 2010 and completion achieved in September 2011.

The Strategic Coordination Centre provides a modern emergency service and protects the public in civil emergencies or major incidents, in addition to providing an important base for Police and multi-agency training.

Political and economic pressures created tight project timescale but we rose to the challenge; meeting all timescale and budget targets whilst producing a high quality, critically acclaimed building.

From the outset the design team and client worked closely to develop the project brief and agree the concept design. It was important that the building reflected its status in its appearance, being of a suitable quality and aesthetic and incorporating a variety of sustainable features. The design was developed to create clarity and legibility of the overall concept in plan and 3 dimensional forms and is configured in an ‘H’ shape, with the two wings of accommodation slipped relative to one another. The building is set on a North-West/South-East main axis, with the principal elevations facing to open aspects, maximizing views out and daylight penetration in.

I was very satisfied with the level and quality of the Architectural Services provided by Austin-Smith:Lord throughout the whole of the project period

 Perry Simpson – Capital Projects Manager, Dyfed Powys Police

LOCATION: CARMATHANSHIRE

CLIENT: DYFED POWYS POLICE

VALUE: £6.4m

COMPLETION: 2011
SERVICE: ARCHITECTURE
SECTOR: CIVIC
CONTRACTOR: WRW CONSTRUCTION

LANDSCAPE: MOTT MACDONALD
STRUCTURES: MOTT MACDONALD
SERVICES: MOTT MACDONALD
COST CONSULTANT: FRANKLIN + ANDREWS

AWARDS:
2012 LABC CYMRU AWARDS, BEST SUSTAINABLE BUILDING + BEST COMMERCIAL BUILDING OVER £5M

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BRIDGEGATE PUBLIC REALM

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BRIDGEGATE PUBLIC REALM

Austin-Smith:Lord’s competition-winning design has completely rejuvenated the historic heart of this former New Town, with natural stone public realm, artworks and streetscape improvements being part of a wider £10m regeneration programme by Irvine Bay Regeneration Company and North Ayrshire Council.

The project features the 9m high Trinity Mirror sculpture that reflects the stunning neo-Gothic Trinity Church and reveals inscriptions on an anamorphic projection around its base. This artwork, coupled with a timeline, reveal aspects of the town’s long, interesting history and its identity developed in discussion with the townsfolk.

Austin-Smith:Lord worked closely with artists WAVE and lighting specialists dpa to incorporate public art and feature lighting into the redesign of Bridgegate.

Former Trinity Church bells, landform artworks and programmed feature lighting further enrich the experience and setting of the Bridgegate. The space is highly flexible and has immediately hosted farmers and Christmas markets, drawing people to the town centre.

I am delighted to see the successful completion of this outstanding project. Local people have been directly involved in the transformation, commenting on ideas and helping to shape the public art which is a central element of the refurbishment. Their involvement is core to the success of this regeneration project, which is about providing new opportunities for local people.
Margaret Burgess – MSP, on officially opening the project

LOCATION: IRVINE

CLIENT: IRVINE BAY REGENERATION COMPANY

VALUE: £2.2m

SIZE: 3000M2
COMPLETION: 2013
SERVICE: LANDSCAPE, URBAN DESIGN, MASTERPLANNING
SECTOR: URBAN REGENERATION
CONTRACTOR: LAND ENGINEERING

LANDSCAPE: AUSTIN-SMITH:LORD
ENGINEERS: O’CONNOR SUTTON CRONIN
LIGHTING CONSULTANT: DPA LIGHTING
COST CONSULTANT: NEILSON PARTNERSHIP

AWARDS:
2014 BALI NATIONAL LANDSCAPE AWARD
2015 SCOTTISH PROPERTY AWARD; TOWN CENTRE REGENERATION PROJECT OF THE YEAR

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