Ainsley Gommon Architects


Pierhead Housing Association


Hamilton Quarter Conservation Area, Birkenhead



Date Completed

Spring 2005

Development Overview

This is a landmark new build development comprising of twenty, shared equity apartments for Pierhead Housing Association. The partly vacant site was on the edge of the Hamilton Quarter and overlooks Woodside and the River Mersey. The development recognises the importance of sensitive but innovative design within the historically important context of Birkenhead’s Hamilton Square Conservation area.

Several significant factors influenced the design: 

  • The site sits on the crest of a slope and offers magnificent views of the River Mersey and Liverpool waterfront. The planning and orientation of the building were strongly influenced by these views from balconies which allow residents to appreciate the exciting panorama of Liverpool, which is best viewed from Birkenhead.
  • Mid-Victorian “Grade-2” Listed buildings, both recently refurbished flank the site on both sides. These established the urban design context and helped to influence the height, massing, layout and proportion of the building to ensure that it related well to its surroundings but was clearly a modern addition to the Birkenhead waterfront skyline.
    The interiors of the flats, maisonettes and penthouses are simple and modern to reflect the form of the exterior. Access galleries on the southern elevation lead to entrance lobbies, sheltered from the breezy maritime climate. A secure landscaped courtyard to the rear of the development provides parking for cars and bicycles.