A new £56m commercial building called HEMISPHERE to be built in the Liverpool Knowledge Quarter will allocate half of its space to laboratories. Tony McDonough reports
Sciontec Developments says around half of its £56m HEMISPHERE commercial development in Liverpool will be given over to laboratory space.
Located in Paddington Village on the former site of Archbishop Blanch School, HEMISPHERE will be adjacent to The Spine, a 155,000 sq ft office building that opened in May 2021.
All of The Spine’s accommodation was designated as office space. Around 70,000 ft was taken by the Royal College of Physicians.
In contrast HEMISPHERE will be home to around 50,000 sq ft of data, bio and innovation laboratories. Sciontec also claims it will offer Liverpool city region’s first net zero carbon workspaces.
It is the first new-build project for Sciontec, a company jointly owned by Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Liverpool, Liverpool City Council, and Bruntwood SciTech. Sciontec is also the owner of Liverpool Science Park (LSP).
With demand for chemistry and life sciences labs within the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) at an “all time high”, and with LSP operating at full capacity, the provision of additional laboratory space is needed.
HEMISPHERE secured initial planning consent at the end of 2022. In March Sciontec unveiled its vision for the scheme at the MIPIM international property expo in Cannes. And it revealed the headline cost of the project had risen to £56m from the original £35m.
Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Sciontec and KQ Liverpool, said: “The labs within HEMISPHERE will be a shop window to the world for health and life sciences, net zero carbon innovation and technology.
“By providing much needed grow-on space for existing lab customers, as well as bringing new labs to market, we will ensure that Liverpool city region remains an attractive destination for business growth.”
It will include Sciontec’s flexible, all inclusive, workspace product, Sciontec AI. This has expanded its operations at The Spine, which is owned by Liverpool City Council. There will also be an events space, coffee shop, networking lounge and wellness studio.
Robert Hopkins from AHR Architects, who designed The Spine, is also the designer of HEMISPHERE. CBRE and Knight Frank have been retained as joint agents.
Cllr Nick Small, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet member for Growth and Economy, added: “The addition of HEMISPHERE will be a great asset to Paddington Village and to our growing knowledge economy.
“It’s hugely encouraging that Sciontec has updated its plans for what will be a fantastic building, as it demonstrates the demand in Liverpool for high quality laboratory space.”