At the end of February, we took part in the Forgotten Spaces design charrette at RIBA North, facilitated by Liverpool City Region Design Champion Paul Monaghan of AHMM, along with 16 other architectural practices and two universities. With 7 critics and 6 sites, we saw a number of exciting ideas presented for the Liverpool City Region ranging from Bebington Road on the Wirral, to ‘Shopping City’ at Runcorn and beyond.
The HSA team looked at the familiar Octagon café and the surrounding site at Otterspool Park and applied a strategic ideas approach at Otterspool. Focussing on sustainable uses to improve mental health and wellbeing, the key idea is the reinstatement of the historic ‘Oklesbrok’, re-flooding the lower level of the park to create a natural swimming pond, and reopening the rail station to provide greater connectivity through the park and to the city. The octagon is converted to a spa wellness centre complete with rooftop hot tub, and alongside rentable bike sheds and jetties for fishing it supports existing activities on the site, generating an income for the upkeep, using a ‘circular economy’ of local social businesses.