LOCATED AT THE HEART OF KNOWLEDGE QUARTER, LIVERPOOL IN PADDINGTON VILLAGE, THE SPINE WILL BECOME THE NEW NORTHERN HOME FOR THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS (RCP). OUR DESIGN UTILISES PIONEERING RESEARCH IN INNOVATIVE WAYS, CREATING AN EXCEEDINGLY POSITIVE AND RESPONSIVE WORKPLACE THAT WILL BECOME ONE OF THE HEALTHIEST WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENTS IN THE WORLD.
The £35m landmark development for Liverpool City Council showcases a comprehensive approach to health and wellbeing in design. Our design of the building draws on the narrative of the human body and its abstract representation through architecture and biophilia. Using biophilic design principles, strong connections with nature have been established throughout the building.
The distinctive façade takes influence from the human skin, with the striking Voronoi pattern including over a million individual polygons applied in a non-repeating pattern to the glazing of the building. The mathematical pattern is found in biology, medicine and epidemiology and will assist in solar control within the building.
The façade acts as a biophilic design feature, with light entering through the façade generating unique shadow patterns on the inside, helping to keep reinforce an ever changing environment, aiding productivity and stimulating the mind.
One of the main biophilic interventions, rather than an atrium found in a typical commercial building, is The Spine's series of double height spaces known as vertical villages which represent lungs in the building. Whilst improving visual and physical connectivity between floors with helical stairs, the spaces contain a rich mix of plants and trees which will reduce both carbon dioxide and toxin levels in the building whilst also producing oxygen, as well as also promoting the salutogenic properties of planting in buildings.
The Spine derives its name from the striking geometric staircase to the north of the building, inspired by the form of the human vertebrae and visible from the outside.
When complete, the college facilities will include collaboration space for evidence-based research and the sharing of knowledge, public exhibition space, events space, conference facilities, education space, medical simulation space and a workplace setting for over 200 people. The building will become the main assessment centre for RCP for their PACES exam and will contain some of the most state of the art medical simulation spaces for practical examinations.
The use of biophilia was a priority for RCP members and fellows, who were extremely supportive of how it can be harnessed to create a positive and healthy working environment. The project aims to create a new chapter in the history of the RCP, evolving its approach to the workplace and increasing the ability to reach and communicate knowledge and expertise to the wider public.
The Spine has been designed according to the scientific and medical research principles established in the WELL standard. An agile workplace environment contains a variety of work settings appropriate to a wide range of tasks and also encourages people to be much more active in their workplace environment.
Our integration of architecture and interior design has embedded wellness and biophilia into the building environment, along with the highest standards for provision of fresh air and water. None-visual methods have also been used, such as soundscape which have a naturally calming effect on the mind, as well as a naturalistic environment using a natural colour palette.Learn more about our interior design of The Spine here.
Northern Powerhouse Award Shortlist
17 FEBRUARY 2017