Strawberry Field

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Application Type

Universal Design

Level of Award

Award

Region

North West

Local Authority Area

Liverpool

Information about this scheme

Hoskins Architects was appointed by the Salvation Army to design a visitor centre and training hub for young adults, at Strawberry Field, in 2012. The brief, developed by the Salvation Army, grew from a desire to provide world class visitor facilities at the popular tourist destination, but also use the opportunity of doing so to address the need for training and work experience for young adults with learning disabilities or other barriers to employment. The site, made famous by the 1967 Beatles song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, is located in Woolton, a residential area of Liverpool. Formerly a manor house in a landscaped garden, the site became a children’s home in 1936, with the original converted Victorian villa replaced in the 1970’s by a purpose-built home. The home closed in 2005, however more than 50,000 people continued to visit the gates each year, and proposals for redevelopment required the impact of congestion and pavement-parking to be addressed. The new 1360m2 centre is designed to maximise views and physical connections to the mature woodland setting where John Lennon played as a child. The three key elements of the building - a visitor centre, a training centre, and the landscape - have been organised to maximise the opportunities that the site offers. The visitor centre with shop, exhibition, and café, is placed at the north of the site, providing direct access and visual connection from the famous red gates. The ‘front’ of the pavilion addresses Beaconsfield Road on the line of the original building. The glazed café walls provide views and access to woodland gardens in the West. Vertical larch mullions modulate the glazing and continue around larch cladding that encloses the Changing Places facility, WC’s, exhibition and services functions adjacent parking to the east. The training hub, with its greater requirement for privacy, is located deeper into the site with a discrete entrance. The building makes use of the existing stepped topography, and below the lightweight upper floor, containing visitor and staff areas, a robust brick plinth emerges, sitting on a lower terrace. This contains education facilities with direct access to a training garden. A generous shared stair and accessible lift at the heart of the building encourages interaction between building users, while a large oversailing roof provides shelter. The project team adopted a collaborative approach from the outset. Salvation Army user group, and design team workshops were used to develop the brief, test options and review costs, which informed decision making. The Salvation Army is a registered charity and along with public donations and trust donors, bricks from the original building were auctioned to fund const.

Credits

Architect

Hoskins Architects

Client

The Salvation Army

Main Contractor

Robertson Construction

Project Manager

Gleeds

Structural Engineer

Curtins Consulting

Landscape Architect

Rankinfraser Landscape Architecture

Primary Use Class

Class D1f - Public Library/Archive/Visitor Centre