UCL professor's design shortlisted
29 January 2008
CJ Lim of the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture has been shortlisted to design a landmark observatory in Merseyside. From over 100 international entries, Lim's proposal is one of five designs that have made it through to the final round.
The competition is to find a replacement for the disused radar tower that stands between Liverpool docks and Crosby beach, famous for its installation of 100 iron men by artist and UCL alumnus Antony Gormley. It is hoped that the observatory will become a major landmark and tourist attraction in the area and provide views both out to sea and inland across the cityscape of Liverpool.
Lim's proposal is an elegant V-shaped steel structure cantilevered out over the River Mersey. 220 steps lead to a viewing platform, which will offer uninterrupted 360-degree views over the city and across the Irish sea to Wales. The design, with only three ground contact points, will make minimal disturbances on the environmentally sensitive site - which includes an internationally important bird sanctuary. The construction's low environmental impact strategy will also be safeguarded through Lim's plans to have the superstructure fabricated off site and transported, fully assembled, by barge to the area.
Speaking about his proposed design Lim said: "We want to create an iconic brand for Liverpool, something which people will want to come and see from all over the world. He added: "All the building's limited energy needs will be provided by solar panels, and at £11.6m, it can be built for less than the proposed budget."
The competition has attracted a great deal of interest on Merseyside and the finalists' designs will be put on public display in February. "The project has wide popular support, partly because we would all like to see the back of the Mersey waterfront's very own architectural carbuncle, but also because, over the years, the observatory will bring in millions of visitors and greatly boost our local economy, with considerable opportunities for Waterloo's restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops," commented Ian Hamilton Fazey, chairman of the local residents' association and jury member.
To find out more about the project and CJ Lim's work, use the links at the top of this article.
Professor CJ Lim has taught and researched at the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture for over fifteen years. His non-conformist aesthetic is true to the revolutionary creativity that makes the UCL Bartlett a breeding-ground for outstanding innovative architects.
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