The University of Liverpool appointed our landscape team to design a new quad, transforming an unloved car park into a lively gathering place. The Jubilee Quad would be a focal point for the city’s “Knowledge Quarter”, and needed to be robust enough to withstand a good deal of foot fall from the University and wider public. It also needed to respond sensitively to the surrounding Grade II listed buildings, while setting itself apart as a modern landmark to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.
By looking at historic photographs of the site, we discovered that the quad had originally had an oval shape. This formed the basis of our designs, which also took inspiration from the form of spun sugar – a nod to Henry Tate, the sugar magnate who donated a large amount of money to the University.
We chose subtle ways to embed the Jubilee celebrations in the design, making it a homage that will stand the test of time. The central green ring includes 60 LED lights in its steps, while the pleached trees echo both the neighbouring Metropolitan Cathedral – with its distinctive metal crown – and the crown of Queen Elizabeth.
The space has become a popular site for students and the public to linger, with the ring of trees creating a social haven in the centre of the quad. It stands both as a unique celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and a future resource for generations to enjoy.
“The scheme is imaginative but extremely functional with an enduring design, which should benefit students and the local community into the next millennium.”– PHILLIP WOODWARD, PROJECT MANAGER, UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL