April 3, 2018

The Spine set to take shape in Knowledge Quarter Liverpool

It was announced at MIPIM 2018, that the new £35m northern headquarters of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter will be known officially as The Spine, taking its name from a striking staircase on its north elevation that resembles human vertebrae.

GVA has been appointed by Liverpool City Council and Knowledge Quarter as joint letting agent on the 160,000 sq ft building as well as sole advisor on the wider Paddington Village scheme. This is a great example of collaborative working with Stephen Cowperthwaite, RSD Liverpool joined by John Tatham (GVA Investment Partnerships), Ian Steele and Jonathan Lowe (Offices) alongside the Land and Development team in Liverpool led by David Sayer.

Stephen Cowperthwaite, RSD Liverpool commented that “Paddington Village is going to be a real game changer for Liverpool, providing a globally-recognised cluster of science, technology, education and health space that will further strengthen the city’s reputation as the UK leader for Life Sciences. Our appointment as joint letting agent and to provide valuation and investment strategy advice is a strong endorsement of our work with the site to date, as well as our position in the market and sector.”

The Spine will be one of the healthiest workspaces for mental and physical wellbeing in the UK and among the first to achieve the international WELL standard of modern building design when it opens its doors in 2020.

While the bottom three and top four storeys of The Spine will become a new 70,000 sq ft centre of clinical excellence for the RCP, 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.

Located within the £1bn Paddington Village development, The Spine will feature a timber curtain wall designed to reconnect people with nature and a unique ceramic frit façade, complete with 23 million unique voronoi polygons that mimic human skin and react to the local environment to control noise and glare.

It 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 parking. 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 11,560 sq ft, will enjoy some of the best views of the city thanks to floor-to-ceiling glazing throughout.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “KQ Liverpool is at the vanguard of the city’s economic growth potential and the arrival of RCP North brings added momentum to our plans to create a world-class innovation district. The Spine is an apt name, not only due to its medical connotations, but also because this development forms the central backbone of our long-term plans for the Paddington Village scheme. It’s also highly encouraging that The Spine will pursue world-class standards of build and design, hopefully raising the bar for sustainable future development in Liverpool and creating an excellent working environment for the RCP and other new occupiers in the building.”

Colin Sinclair, chief executive of KQ Liverpool, said: “The Spine is another crucial step forward in our determination to attract the very best organisations and talent from around the globe, as well as creating thousands of jobs for the people of Liverpool. It’s a great example of the Mayor’s vision combining successfully in a powerful partnership with the city’s universities and hospitals, as well as new partners such as Morgan Sindall and the RCP”.