Leisure: Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre

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Leisure On the waterfront Liverpool is gearing up to become European City of Culture 2008 with the construction of an impressive new arena and convention centre. Martin Cooper reports. FACT FILE Liverpool’s city centre is currently a hive of con- Built on the banks of the Mersey, the project Liverpool Arena and struction activity. A major redevelopment and new involved some extensive groundworks before steel- Convention Centre Main client: is set to transform much of Liverpool’s rundown The project involved begin. As Buro Hap-work erection couldbuild project, known as the Paradise Street scheme, Liverpool Vision Architect: Wilkinson Eyre centre, while a stone’s throw away along the banks some extensive pold’s Project Principle Structural engineer: of the Mersey the impressive Kings Waterfront groundworks before Angus Palmer explains, Buro Happold project is now beginning to take shape. the site was formerly Main contractor: Located on the site of the former Kings Dock, steelwork erection occupied by dock- Bovis Lend Lease Steelwork contractor: in Liverpool and is being jointly promoted by a part- could begin wouldn’t have beenside warehouses andKings Waterfront is the single largest development Watson Steel Structures nership of Liverpool Vision, English Partnerships, able to sustain the new structures without new piles Project value: £140M Steel tonnage: 6,000t Northwest Regional Development Agency and Liv- being driven in to the ground. erpool City Council. The Arena and Convention Centre both sit on a Their aim is to create a visitor destination of in- 3m-high podium, and this also required some major ternational quality combining arena, conference and earthworks to be carried out by the main contractor exhibition facilities - a centrepiece for Capital of Cul- Bovis Lend Lease. ture celebrations in 2008 - with a development of Essentially the Conference Centre is a completely residential, hotel, office, retail, leisure, community steel-framed structure while the adjoining Arena is and public open spaces. a steel framed building sitting atop a concrete bowl, The initial part of this huge project is the con- which lies beneath the top level of the podium. struction of the Liverpool Arena and Convention Once complete both the Arena and the Confer- Centre which comprises a 9,500 capacity arena; an ence Centre will have the flexibility to cater for auditorium seating 1,350; a multi-purpose hall and events of differing sizes. For this reason, the Arena’s 18 meeting rooms. floor links directly via the Galleria - a steel-framed 22 NSC October 2006


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