Location: Liverpool, UK
Status: Runner-up in RIBA International Competition
Waterworks Drift takes advantage of the existing infrastructure of the Leeds and Liverpool canal to bring new life and amenity to the Sefton community in Liverpool. Like a piece of driftwood that can seed the creation of new waterside features, the project is designed to be highly mobile and flexible in its configuration depending on its specific location between Stanley dock and Millers Bridge.
Reinterpreting the once familiar canal barge, the project aims to break down the barrier created by the canal edge, and blur the distinction between land and water by allowing visitors and the local community to occupy both. The lightweight timber monocoque roof shells resonate with the industrial heritage of the area while providing for today’s community needs in a contemporary form.
In themselves, the floating barges are incomplete and require the specifics of each new location to determine their arrangement and overall performance. To become an effective catalyst for change, the barges are designed to operate within a larger design framework that identifies a number of sites along the canal and provides a coherent design pallet for the revitalisation on a temporary or more permanent basis. As the availability of docking sites is subject to change, our design urban proposals for the landscaping define a strategy rather than a given outcome with a material palette that creates a patchwork of programme. The project will facilitate the emergence of a new amenity landscape along the canal over time.