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celebrating our home town heritage: liverpool

shedkm works on projects and developments in cities across the UK including London, Birmingham, Brighton, Manchester, Swansea and Edinburgh, but we will always have a special affection for our home city, Liverpool. We opened our first office in Liverpool in 1997, a time of rapid urban development.

Two of our earliest projects involved the saving and repurposing of iconic but redundant local heritage buildings: Collegiate, a beautiful sandstone education-to-residential conversion, and Matchworks, the transformation of the city’s much-loved Grade II Listed Bryant and May factory into an award-winning office building. Both projects were emblematic of a cycle of change across the UK from industrial to white-collar, city living, and gave us the opportunity to establish our guiding principles of contextual retrofit in our home town.

As a practice, our connections to the city are as strong today as ever. This summer we were delighted to reach the final stages of the National Museums Liverpool’s international competition, Waterfront Transformation, building on the rich and historic industrial landscape of Liverpool’s docklands in order to create a new cultural destination. We put together a national collaborative, multi-disciplinary team, CAN DO, to develop a new powerful and inclusive narrative to inform future development proposals for Canning Dock which would speak to its heritage and inhabitants.

Our mission was to honour communities and welcome tourists, acknowledge the past and embrace the future in one holistic transparent, layered and textured piece, brought to life by the people of Liverpool. For three wonderful sunny days in July, during which all the shortlisted teams presented their ideas, we talked with local people about their ambitions for the area, in a process which embodied our approach to both the city and creation of successful place.

Over the past few years, we have worked with the City Council as Liverpool’s guardians to analyse and inspire areas of the city from the Commercial Business District to Ten Streets, attempting to provide a critique of the past and framework for appropriate future growth and evolution of this great port city. Despite Liverpool losing its world heritage status in 2021, the city is still proud progressive, unique, and trying to balance the need for viable regeneration with the protection of its more defined assets.