Owners of the Grade I-listed Royal Liver Building are to illuminate the world-famous landmark more often starting with Liverpool’s River of Light festival in November. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool’s world famous Royal Liver Building is to be regularly bathed in light on certain days throughout the year in a new phase of its redevelopment.
One of the waterfront ‘Three Graces’, the 108-year-old Royal Liver has been illuminated for various ad hoc events over the past few years, including the Three Queens event in 2015. In 2016 the famous Liver Bird statues were lit up during the festive season.
However, the latest initiative will see the landmark illuminated much more often on key dates and for bespoke events in Liverpool’s cultural calendar. The official launch will be the inaugural event at the beginning of November that opens the city’s River of Light festival.
Luxembourg-based investment firm Corestate paid £48m for the Grade I-listed building, formerly owned by Royal Liver and then Royal London, in February 2017 with Everton FC’s biggest shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, contributing almost £30m to the deal.
Since the acquisition there has been a push to maximise the value of the Grade I-listed building. This has included the launch of RLB360, a spectacular visitor experience taking in the clock tower, that has already welcomed 32,000 people, as well as 43,000 sq ft of new office space, a coffee shop, bar and gym.
The masterplan for the Royal Liver Building is being developed and managed by property consultancy CBRE. Simon Hepple, director for the firm’s national building consultancy team in Liverpool, said: “CBRE has produced an incredibly exciting vision for the majestic Royal Liver Building.
“On behalf of real estate investment manager Corestate Capital Group and trusted partners, we have drawn on expertise to develop a programme of refurbishment to create a new dynamic visitor and occupier experience.
“The new lighting experience is a vital part of the repositioning of the building and the first of its kind in the UK, showcasing Liverpool’s innovative spirit. We hope that it will bring joy to visitors to the city, serving as a location to meet, enhancing the waterfront and promoting the Royal Liver Building and Pier Head as a desirable destination to work and visit.”
Lauren Blow, senior lighting designer at Arup, added: “The scheme aims to rediscover the magnificence and form of the Grade I Royal Liver Building during the hours of darkness with a timeless external lighting scheme which transforms into a story-telling platform each night.
“The clocks and famous Liver Birds which adorn the Royal Liver Building are fundamental to the Liverpool story and city heritage and are interpreted during the light show. Millions of people have looked to these towers for the time of day and, throughout history, with the hope of security for their loved ones at sea.
“These towers will be brought back to life with light to reinstate the original purpose of the clock towers in a 21st century digital’ format.”