AHR’s £35m landmark development, The Spine, designed to WELL Platinum and biophilic design principles, for Liverpool City Council and the Royal College of Physician’s (RCP), has reached completion, resulting in an immense addition to Paddington Village, Knowledge Quarter Liverpool.
This pioneering biophilic building places the health and wellbeing of its occupiers as a priority, as RCP’s new northern home it is on track to be one of the healthiest workspaces for mental health and physical wellbeing in the UK. AHR and RCP’s shared vision in creating a positive and healthy working environment, reducing stress and increasing creativity with the use of biophilia, was key in this innovative design.
Robert Hopkins, regional director at architecture and building consultancy practice, AHR, said:
“The Spine has been a fantastic building to design, from the geometric staircase and trabecular columns to the distinct Voronoi panels of the façade, it really has pushed the boundaries of biophilic design resulting in a truly exceptional healthy environment for RCP’s new northern home.”
“Working with RCP and Liverpool City Council has been great in that we have been able to fulfil a shared ambition of creating an outstanding building that will benefit the occupants and visitors for a long time to come.”
AHR’s design focuses on the human body with the distinctive façade taking inspiration from the human skin. The Voronoi pattern includes 23 million individual polygons applied in a frit pattern to the glazing of the building.
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, whilst the double height atrium represents the lungs of the building. The overall structure represents the skeleton with exposed concrete columns moulded to reflect the trabecular system within human bones.
The glazed curtain wall system, using timber, helps to provide a unique connection to nature for the occupants of the building, the exposure to natural light reduces blood pressure and stress whilst increasing happiness and significantly, circadian rhythms, which regulate sleep patterns.
As part of the principles of the WELL Standard, AHR introduced an innovative ventilation system, which circulates higher levels of fresh air than typical commercial systems, with additional filtration to maintain high air quality levels throughout.
As well as office space and dedicated medical research areas, The Spine also boasts conference, education, dining and exhibition space which are available for private hire. The building is expected to be fully open and operational by September 2021.