Following on from my last post, we continue with the theme of urban renewal and reclamation of abandoned spaces, in this post we will discuss The Baltic Triangle, an award-winning Cultural Cluster development set in the heart of Liverpool City Centre named one of the coolest places to live in 2017.
Image: The Sunday Times
The Baltic Triangle is a post-industrial area of warehouses that were left derelict in the economic downturn of the Liverpool in the 20th century, formally used to store Baltic timber this area has experienced significant improvements since 2004 and reflects on its heritage with the adoption of the ‘Baltic’ name and has been redeveloped into a creative & cultural cluster set up to support creative industries and Digital start-ups.
The cluster has undergone significant public realm quality improvements with investments in community interfaces, street furniture and lighting in order to create a distinct identity and in particularly creating a more welcoming and safer environment.
Image: Liverpool Echo
The Baltic Triangle vision manifesto 2020 highlights the aim for the area to incorporate the festivilastion of the public realm and promotion of an evening economy with the animation of space being to effectively support cultural regeneration while giving critical mass to the area by increasing the active time frames through mixed use activity.
It is evident that there has been effective animation of space and festivilastion with the introduction of Events such as The Liverpool Biannual, Sound City and the growth of the arts and culture communities having been relocated to the Baltic Triangle.
The use of creative street lighting, public art, active street frontage and an active evening economy incorporating, bars, venues and galleries create a place with a distinct identity and Unique Selling Point.
However there has been on-going challenges faced by the cluster, namely rising tensions due to gentrification concerns between groups such as the creative community and residential developers who aim to profit of the area’s regeneration. A good example of this is the tensions rising from the Constellations & Observatory a RIBA award winning event space, which has been recently acquired with the aim to redevelop the land into apartments.
Interestingly these tensions could make or break the area in the coming years with such developments often having further fragmented communities due to the rising prices and tensions, yet in this the case the community has rallied around the area in order to try and preserve the spirit of the Baltic showing the communities resilience.
This development has persuaded a response from the Council as they develop a new Spatial Regeneration Framework Masterplan with LDA Design to protect the ‘soul’ of the Baltic and preserve and expand the area over the next 15 years. I for one am excited to see the development of this area further as it has been an inspirations for perusing a future in this industry as I watched this area transform as a I grew up.
Getintothis. 2018. Constellations to close in 2019 for ‘residential development’ as Liverpool suffers new venue blow. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.getintothis.co.uk/2018/07/constellations-close-2019-residential-development-liverpool-suffers-new-venue-blow/. [Accessed 17 April 2019].
independent-liverpool.co.uk. 2019. CONSTELLATIONS TO CLOSE IN 2019 – BUT ITS SPIRIT WILL LIVE ON FOREVER. [ONLINE] Available at: https://independent-liverpool.co.uk/blog/constellations-to-close-in-2019-but-its-spirit-will-live-on-forever/. [Accessed 19 April 2019].
Liverpool Business News. 2019. New masterplan aims to protect Liverpool’s thriving Baltic Triangle. [ONLINE] Available at: https://lbndaily.co.uk/new-masterplan-aims-protect-liverpools-thriving-baltic-triangle/. [Accessed 18 April 2019].
Liverpool Echo. 2019. New masterplan aims to save the Baltic Triangle. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/new-masterplan-aims-save-baltic-15677250. [Accessed 19 April 2019].
theguideliverpool. 2019. LIVERPOOL IS TO DEVELOP A MASTER PLAN FOR ITS BALTIC TRIANGLE. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.theguideliverpool.com/liverpool-is-to-develop-a-master-plan-for-its-baltic-triangle/. [Accessed 17 April 2019].
theguideliverpool. 2018. WHAT DOES THE CLOSURE OF CONSTELLATIONS MEAN FOR THE BALTIC TRIANGLE AND FOR LIVERPOOL?. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.theguideliverpool.com/what-does-the-closure-of-constellations-mean-for-the-baltic-triangle-and-for-liverpool [Accessed 19 April 2019].
The Times. 2017. 20 Coolest Place to Live in Britain. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/20-coolest-places-to-live-in-britain-qc8f28xvb. [Accessed 18 April 2019].