Tribeca by Alison Brooks Architects



Alison Brooks Architects have designed three buildings for the Tribeca development on Great George Street in Liverpool, UK.


The project, for developer Urban Splash, will incorporate 93 apartments, with commercial space on the ground floor. The new buildings will cluster around an existing bridal shop, housed in a gothic-style building on the site.


The buildings are due for completion in 2016.


More Dezeen stories about Alison Brooks Architects:

Salt house
Herringbone houses


The following information is from the architects:


Tribeca: Alison Brooks Architects' Scheme at Great George Street in Liverpool for Developer Urban Splash.

Alison Brooks Architects have designed three buildings for the 'Tribeca' development in Liverpool, which will act as a 'beacon' at the prominent corner of Great George Street and St James Street. The buildings will be a combination of 93 apartments and colonnaded commercial space at street level.


Property Developer Urban Splash invited four architects to work with them on the project: Liverpool’s shedkm, London-based Alison Brooks Architects, Riches Hawley Mikhail, and Austrian practice querkraft.


Urban Splash revealed earlier this year that its development will be called Tribeca. It will be the largest residential scheme in the city to date with over 700 new homes being created. The site forms three distinct triangles, so Urban Splash put the phrase together 'Triangles Beneath Cathedral' to create Tri-be-ca, Tribeca. It echoes its famous New York counterpart which was named because the area was made up of a series of triangular sites which sat beneath Canal Street.

ABA's scheme has been conceived as a contemporary addition to the sandstone architecture of Liverpool, a 21st century gothic. The team were inspired by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's nearby Anglican Cathedral, consecrated in 1924, and the city's monumental stone civic buildings. Their architecture expresses solidity and permanence qualities which ABA feel are essential for new urban neighbourhoods.

The faceted forms of ABA's three buildings and their elongated fenestration is intended to relate to both the Gothic articulation of the Wedding Shop on the site, as well as the dramatic verticality of the nearby Cathedral. The stone-clad facades stretch up toward the sky, gradually becoming lighter and more glazed as they increase in height. Within the windows are vertical strips of coloured glass reminiscent of the beautiful stained glass windows that enliven the sandstone interior of St George's.

ABA's approach counters the conventional response to tall building design. These are usually built of lightweight glazed systems, giving them a fragile, commercial quality.

As Alison Brooks comments, “We wanted to re-interpret the Neo-Gothic Victorian architecture in this area of Liverpool and take it a step further, to design tall buildings that express a dynamic, vertical rhythm with their fenestration and their geometry, but are built with a heavy, traditional material like stone.”

ABA were very interested in creating a new urban neighbourhood with the scale, density and architectural quality that put it on a par with the great boulevards of continental cities. The aim is to extend the centre of the city towards the south so that the area becomes a gateway into Liverpool, and a destination in itself.

Tribeca will take approximately 8 years to build and work will start on the site in spring 2008.

Recipient of a 2008 Housing Design Project Award

Architect: Alison Brooks Architects Ltd
Client: Urban Splash, Liverpool Dept.
Masterplan: Shed KM Architects, Liverpool
Administration: Gerrard ODonnell Ltd, Widnes
Structural Engineer: Joule Consulting Engineers, Manchester
Mechanical and Electrical Consultant: Progressive Services Design Ltd, Wirrel
Quantity Surveyor/Project Management: Gerrard O'Donnell

Posted on Wednesday July 16th 2008 at 1:34 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • thomas

    nice massing

  • Very curious- when I lived in Liverpool (up to 1998) that spot was one of the most dodgy parts of the city (I was born 2 streets away) – that’s Toxteth proper, not downtown overspill… given the collapse in the property market, I really wonder if its going to work… I hope it does…

  • WTF2007

    outstanding blend of old & new. poetic.

  • m.

    Good renders and… That’s all. Oh. This is so bad. Again We have the same design for everything. It’s boring.

  • edward

    I find the facade treatment jittery, but contemporary. The bridal shop interrupts and controls the massing in a big way. Perhaps the air rights might have been procured and the new structure united and better scaled in relation to the adjacent commercial structures. Hugh Stubbin’s CitiCorp structure in NYC is elevated to maintain air rights for a church that maintains an option to build on the property. But the night shot looks cool.

  • sam

    Respectful massing with respect to the existing building.
    The materials are a little too “matchy-match” for my taste.
    The jumbled fenestration isn’t exactly original, but well done.

  • Very interesting, can’t wait to photograph it at night time and enjoy some scouse hospitality.

  • Marum Sotai

    good renders?

  • leandro locsin

    i think the randomness fenestration incisions created freedom of the skin, BUT it constricted the expression of the internal program of the body. the body is not free.

    this is a perfect example of an architect obsessed with a single expression of an “OBJECT”

    really sad.

  • edward

    Well yes, it’s an object foremost, that argument was lost long ago, but the apartments access to the exterior looks to have been sacrificed to the Gothic
    motif. Worse yet. .

  • andresr

    Crude, to say the least.
    It doesnt even seem retro (which it seems to try to be), it simply looks old and tired. And whoever said the renders were good is obviously either an accountant or a desk-clerk that got lost and ended up on this site.

  • MiM

    correct comment on the renders (3dMax 0.1? or autocad 13?)

  • ivan

    Look at the plan and you will see the wide and corners windows at the proper place for the interior. And these do not correspond to the facade. If it is built it will be different

  • jp

    Nice formstudy. Materialisation (according to the renders?) seems way off.

  • Mattia

    Maybe if they were faced in a different color/material I’d like them more? I definitely don’t think the forms do much to maximize the play of the church.

  • Dear Dezeen

    Could you very kindly please take the close up image of the stone cladding/ windows (fifth image down from top) from your website as that is not our image – something from U Splash team and not what we like or intended !!! thanks a lot
    and sorry for our mistake!


  • This project reminds me of The Economist Building in Piccadilly, London by Alison and Peter Smithson.

  • My concern regards this particular project does not necessarily echo those gone before, as a potential buyer in the stated area, with a property just behind this development my main concern is that the wonderful cathedral views are going to be obstructed by this. Why cant they break it up a bit and leave green plots in between to contrast and thus not inhibit the spectaular cathedral view??