Ainsley Gommon Architects


Merseyside Development Corporation


Birkenhead, Wirral



Date Completed


Development Overview

Ainsley Gommon was commissioned by Merseyside Development Cooperation to design a new bus canopy for the Woodside Bus Station adjacent to the ferry terminal. The bus terminal was constructed in this location as an interchange for passengers who are travelling between Liverpool and the Wirral via the ferry. At the time it was the main bus station for Birkenhead.

The canopy was designed from a lightweight metal frame curved geodesic construction, with a clear span beneath. This allows for uninterrupted views, flexibility and potential future adaptation. The lightweight frame appears almost to float over the ticket booths, seating and toilet units beneath. The inherent geometric grid pattern of the structure, that forms the internal finish, provides an interesting ceiling from which the services and light fittings are suspended. At night the structure lights up providing interest to the streetscape, with the lighting designed to give an even light spread for security, preventing dark areas that can lead to anti social behaviour.

The linear length of the canopy runs towards the ferry terminal creating a visual link between the two. The modern construction is contrasting in style and appearance to it historic neighbour, the listed wooden booking hall which dates back to 1864, establishes the bus station canopy as a new addition within this historic setting. The simple utilitarian design capitalises on its construction method to create this lightweight almost delicate structure, contrasting with the surrounding predominantly brick buildings and creating a modest design statement.