National Wildflower Centre

Hodder + Partners, Liverpool , 2000


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Martine Hamilton Knight (website)     Download Original

  • West facade: to the right profile of steps carved out of the load bearing structure     
  • Green oak hydraulic shutters are a necessary security measure, and give the building an entirely different character at night    
  • The west facade; 160m long working wall is predominantly natural grey concrete, with areas of glazing    
  • The roof spans a cut through the building, overlooked by the glazed café area    
  • At its northern, more permeable and public,  end the building noses into a copse of mature trees    
  • A vantage point from which visitors can view the centre’s activites and the city and landscape beyond    
  • The southern elevation- external staircases at either end of the building give access to the rooftop walkway    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • West elevation (shutters open)    
  • West elevation (shutters open)    
  • East elevation    
  • Detailed section through shutter and glazing    
  • Cut-away section through glazed facade    

Sculpted inhabited wall that extends 160m through the park, linking the play/visitor areas with the working area of the centre

The inhabited wall acts as a threshold, an enclosure and a link, designed to become different things appropriate to different contexts within the park.

At the east end the concrete wall is wholly permeable and lined with oak to define covered education areas. Upon entering, this palette is inverted with adjustable oak shutters cloaking an internal skin of concrete to the café bar and offices located at the west end.

An elevated boardwalk caps the wall from which the surrounding parkland and walled garden may be viewed and so extending the promenade through the centre.


  • Completed: 2000
  • Floor area: 625m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £100,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Address: Court Hey Park, Huyton, Liverpool , L16 3NA, United Kingdom

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