The 1st of October is World Architecture Day and as practising architects, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the work that we have done or are planning to do in the following year. Once again, looking back, it has been a positive year for OMI with some great projects coming to completion, including our conversion of a former warehouse building as a new headquarters for homeless charity, the Mustard Tree.
Looking ahead there are some equally exciting opportunities. As a practice our work straddles a huge range of project types and scales and this year is no different with projects as diverse as 40 to 50 storey city centre residential schemes alongside much smaller (but no less complicated) heritage re-use projects. We like to think that whatever the scale or type of work we undertake it’s the effort inputted into the process that reaps benefits.
This year we are privileged to be involved with the realisation of the Old Library project which is due to start on site in at the beginning of 2019. We have been working with the team at Lister Steps for the past three years to develop an exciting project that will see the former community library brought back into use as a focus for community activity in Tuebrook, Liverpool.
Heritage re-use projects are fascinating, difficult, challenging but above all incredibly stimulating and rewarding to work on. This is particularly true when the project has a direct and positive effect on a local community. Judging by the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the recent Old Library open day it feels as if the community have a deep-seated ownership of the project.
Most architects enter the profession because they want to make a difference and to affect change. For us breathing new life into historic buildings meets this aim while creating a sustainable future for these buildings. Not only will the Old Library project save the building, but during the construction phase, the project will be used as a live classroom where members of the public, professionals and school children alike will be able to learn about traditional craft skills which will hopefully mean that people are enthused about a profession where there is currently a skills shortage.
Next World Architecture Day we will be getting close to completion, so it looks like a positive year ahead.