Project Update: The Spine
A key milestone in the construction of The Spine – the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) new £35 million northern headquarters in Liverpool’s Paddington Village (procured through the NWCH High Value Framework) – has been celebrated with a ceremony to mark the building reaching its highest point.
Located within the 450-acre Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) Mayoral Development Zone, Paddington Village is a £1 billion expansion scheme east of the city centre which, when complete, will be a key part of one of the UK’s leading innovation districts – incorporating new science, technology, education and health space.
The 160,000 sq ft building, known as The Spine and designed by architects AHR, will be one of the healthiest workspaces for mental and physical wellbeing in the UK and it is hoped that it will be among the first to achieve the international WELL standard of modern building design when it opens its doors later this year. It also represents the first Grade A office building in Liverpool City Region for more than a decade.
Named after the prominent staircase that runs up the north elevation of the building, The Spine’s lower and upper floors will be occupied by the RCP. The RCP represents over 35,000 doctors throughout the world, and The Spine will form the organisation’s new Northern Centre of Excellence.
The topping out event was attended by representatives of Morgan Sindall Construction, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, the Knowledge Quarter and the RCP.
The Spine’s unique layout and design will serve as the perfect backdrop for the RCP’s leading healthcare professionals and staff, enabling its team to foster innovation in a pioneering atmosphere of collaboration and partnership.
Likewise, the remaining seven floors will offer a flexible range of innovative, contemporary workspaces designed to meet the needs of organisations in the health, science and education sectors.
A dedicated mezzanine exhibition space will connect via a spiral staircase to a ground floor café and foyer, while each of the floors, which are circa 11,550 sq ft, will enjoy some of the best views of the city thanks to floor-to-ceiling glazing throughout.
Externally, the façade for The Spine has been designed taking inspiration from human skin. A striking Voronoi pattern includes 23 million individual polygons applied in a frit pattern to the glazing of the building, while a curtain wall system has been used which helps to give a distinct connection to nature for occupants of the building.
The Spine will also boast an internal sky garden, complete with high-oxygen producing plants, a fine dining restaurant available for private hire, a large bicycle and shower facility and under croft car parking for 50 spaces featuring five electric charging points.
Richard Potts, Morgan Sindall Construction’s area director for Liverpool, said: “Through the Knowledge Quarter, the council is helping to drive the Liverpool city region’s economy forward by focusing on knowledge-intensive jobs in science, education, healthcare and technology. This bold approach will prove crucial to the future growth of the city’s economy, and we’re very proud to be playing a key role in this through our work at Paddington Village.
Today’s event was a brilliant opportunity for those of us involved in creating this iconic new building to celebrate the progress made so far. It’s a real privilege for Morgan Sindall Construction to help deliver such a stunning design, and we look forward to working closely with our partners on the project as The Spine approaches completion.”
The event took place at the Knowledge Quad, Morgan Sindall’s multi-purposed training and learning facility based onsite at Paddington Village. Focused around the pillars of Skills, Education, Employment and Discovery, the Knowledge Quad uses construction to inspire a generation, and to instil Liverpool City Council’s vision of inclusive growth into the Paddington Village development from its very foundations.
At 30 acres, Paddington Village is being developed by Liverpool City Council in three phases: Paddington Central, Paddington South and Paddington North, with Morgan Sindall Construction undertaking numerous projects as part of the first phase.