Ainsley Gommon Architects


Peel Holdings


Birkenhead Docks



Date Completed

Submission January 18

Development Overview

Ainsley Gommon was selected to undertake design proposals for a limited competition for a Maritime Knowledge Hub. Our Proposals celebrate the magnificent past, the developing present and the exciting future of all aspects of the Merseyside marine economy. Our building has the potential to provide a centre of excellence capable of functioning on a regional, national and global level by providing state of the art research, development and training facilities.

The existing listed hydraulic pumping station is a prominent statement; that even in decay is a clear symbol that Merseyside led the world in marine engineering excellence. Our proposals include a new building to sit respectfully alongside its historic partner without dominating or replicating it. The proposals are for a modern light flexible addition to the dock frontage with carefully considered entrances, connectivity and landscape, meeting the brief for public, education and maritime facilities. We propose that the old and new are linked by an internal “street” comprising an atrium space creating a linkage in an east – west direction maintaining a visual connection from Tower Road to the dock.

Office space will be provided within the converted hydraulic tower utilising the concept of an open plan layout to create a comfortable co-working environment. A mezzanine level is introduced to meet the practical requirements of office use, without compromising the existing scale. In addition the cafe and exhibition space connect from the old directly onto the new glazed street. The seamless nature of the spaces will welcome the public and invite them through to interact with the evolving exhibits and immerse them in the world of the maritime community of Merseyside.