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The Hub: A Joint Facility for the Liverpool Universities

Part 1 Project 2012
Polina Pencheva
University of Liverpool, UK
The project of a HUB, as a monument, which brings students, graduates, academics and the city together, tries to address the problem of the new “monumental” building within the historical urban realm of Liverpool. Aldo Rossi’s theories of monuments as artefacts which enrich the city and its patterns were used as the basis to formulate the design ideas. The starting points were the connections between different artefacts and the routes which lead to and pass through the site. Then a more localized approach was adopted - by analyzing the patterns of Hope Street and the movement patterns of people the public realm on the site was defined. “A pocket” which extends the public dimensions of the city and blurs the edge between public and private, outside and inside. The notion of driving people in and engaging passengers with the building is translated into the design by creating a series of secondary “streets” through the site which continue on inside the building and transform into the circulation spaces.

The circulation space is seen a social event, where interactions between people happen spontaneously. Provided with seating and views it becomes a multifunctional space: a viewing platform, informal study space, a meeting point or a place for inspiration and sharing of ideas. In addition, the circulation is brought to the front of the building connecting the users back to the city.

The façade is a combination of translucent and transparent glazed panels, which provide privacy where needed, open up views towards the city on all levels and sensitively respond to the activities inside.

To further enhance the idea of the HUB, there is no level with a single function. What is more, carefully positioned voids give users awareness of activities happening on different floors.

The Urban Skate Park, dedicated to the idea of movement and social interaction, creates a bond between teenagers and students and aims to inspire for higher education. The pavilions, on the other hand, designed as rentable meeting rooms for graduates or used for graduate markets provide for the needs of the people who have already completed their studies.

Polina Pencheva


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