Wednesday, 19 August 2009

One Park West The Balloons Arrive for a Group Hug.


Todays Architects Journal carries a headline
Beauty or Beast: Cesar Pelli's One Park West Liverpool
18 August, 2009 By Richard Waite

The huggers want to show that, despite the recent nomination for an architectural wooden spoon and for generally ‘getting it in the neck’, there are people who still care for the 326-apartment, boat-shaped block. So who’s right?
Speaking about the scheme, Pelli said he wanted to ‘to create a modern, striking building, a memorable place to live, with exceptional view of a wonderful waterfront and park’. Meanwhile Guy Butler, senior development manager at project backer Grosvenor, described the prowed block as a ‘building design which has really stuck its head above the parapet and has, without a doubt, vastly improved an area of our city centre which was formerly wasteland.’
David Dunster from the Liverpool School of Architecture said it boasts ‘one of the nastiest looking pieces of standard office glazing since Britain was bombed by the Luftwaffe; and cheap.’ He added: ‘The prow can only be a ghastly reference to Liverpool’s maritime past and conclusive evidence that all architects should be banned from the use of metaphor, simile or metonymy in the next 100 years at least.’

Also Building design run a story too

So the PR company seem to be earning their fees and most of the crowd seem to be made up by them and Grosvenor staff. They even tried to get the BBC reporter to wear a badge. "I cant do that he said I work for the BBC.
Then they brought one of the blokes who said he worked with Cesar Pelli.....with a megaphone to direct the 50 people. They had been hoping for 150. I think they did well to get that many people as the six who were not getting paid to be there.

Councillor Miller with his new found friends, schoolkids bussed in for the occasion to make up the numbers. His letter in yesterdays Daily Ghost.
A negative few
DESIGNED by Cesar Pelli and stabbed in the back by a small group of internet surfers on a website, One Park West is bold, modern, thought-provoking and in the right place and definitely at the right time.
Liverpool One is up for the Stirling Prize by the same website, yet one of its iconic buildings is being lambasted by the negative and disgruntled few.
The Pier Head Ferry Terminal has also been drawn into the same nonsense. I personally love its positioning, style and seamless linking of old and new, including its proximity to the Three Graces, the new canal link and the fabulous new museum.
Liverpool is an amazing world- class city and we should all congratulate Merseytravel for their bold new Ferry Terminal and Grosvenor for transforming the city centre. They helped create almost 5,000 new jobs, while bringing iconic retail outlets, a fabulous new Hilton Hotel, a stunning new Chavasse Park and, of course, a great place to set up home in the bold design, that is One Park West.
Cllr Gary Millar, Executive Member for Enterprise and Tourism, Liverpool City Council
Not quite sure who stabbed the building in the back Mr Miller who asked me did I want a badge, I declined.

Well it has been said that the standard of this piece of, well if you could call it architecture is more suitable for the preferences of a 10 year old.
Paid for by Grosvenor they rolled them out at Park West Worst for this desperate PR stunt. A colleague of mine went on facebook to check out how its all going and the organiser of it is She works for a PR company called ThinkPublicity and guess what (if you can stand the annoying website) their clients are Trinity Mirrors Group, Grosvenor and they launched the One Park Worst opening evening. They say they launched LDP the Liverpool Daily Post Business Club.....they say at the launch for and they are pleased to be associated with Trinity Mirror.
They also have as clients Negresco and a couple of other Guttman enterprises who seem to always go bust and recently went bang and caused outrage when the same owners opened up the same week further down the same road in Lark Lane.
Nick Wensley (Liverpool) wrote at 12:07
I'm in work then too... Do they not understand our great home is supposed to look like a ship? Explaining that would make all the confusion and bad feeling evaporate i'm sure!
followed by another comment
This building is supposed to look like a ship ? The Titanic comes to mind. No bad feelings or confusion, it is truly awful and should sink without trace. Are there enough lifeboats ?


  1. For once, David Dunster and I are in complete agreement.

    This said, it is unfair that One Park West is receiving all the attention while the New Pier Head Ferry Terminal has only received a passing mention.

    Prominent in location but undeniably poor in design and execution, the new Ferry Terminal truly is a building fit for the Carbuncle mantel. More to the point, with so many design watchdogs in this area, how did Hamilton Architects actually manage to pass this dreadful design off?

    Maybe I'm wrong: Cllr Millar appears to appreciate the Terminal's position (i.e. where the old one used to be) and its "seamless linking of old and new".

    Liverpool Council had a chance free the Pierhead from all its '60's clutter but chose to replaced it with a building universally loathed from its opening.

  2. Subject: Letters to the editor

    Letter printed 24.8.09 Daily Post

    Dear Sir

    In opposition to One Park West et al

    I am writing to respond to Cllr. Millar's letter published on 18 August as I find his remarks very odd!

    First, he refers to 'Cesar Pelli' as though this automatically means "quality" . I judge a building on its architectural merits and not its Italian designer label. One Park West is a very ordinary and, in my view, unattractive building that in 20 years time will look to many people as uninspired as the 1960s tower blocks look now.

    Second, he refers to opposition from a few back-stabbing Internet surfers - the criticism I've seen has been from many individuals and organisations, much of it published in the Daily Post and significantly outweighs the letters from a handful of supporters.

    Third, he refers to the seemless integration of old and new buildings at Pier Head which is the exact opposite of what has been achieved. The new buildings stand out like "sore thumbs": we now have a collection of modern, odd shaped buildings which are completely at variance with the classical grandeur of the "Three Graces".

    The problem we have is that the architects employed on these projects appear to be too arrogant and fashion conscious to follow well established architectural principles of harmony and symmetry that date back to Ancient Greece. Perhaps they also know that they can't compete in terms of craftsmanship. The only aspects they can show superiority over past generations is in the use of steel structures, masses of concrete and large plate glass windows. The end result is a set of buildings designed by computer that are geared to make an immediate impact on the eye by virtue of their strange geometry. This impact will fade with time and I would place a wager with Cllr. Millar that these new buildings will not last 50 years before they get demolished and replaced. Meantime, I would also wager that the "Three Graces" will stand in place, admired by many generations to come, for another century and longer.

    Simon Taylor
    Liverpool 8