Royal Liver Building

W. Aubrey Thomas, Liverpool, 1911


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Facade of the building viewed from Pierhead 

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  • Facade of the building viewed from Pierhead    
  • Canadian Pacific Railway Company    
  • Canadian Pacific Railways Company    
  • Entrance corridor    
  • Interior of the clock chamber in the west tower    
  • The board room    
  • The lift motor room    
  • View showing steel casement    
  • Detail of the carving in the board room    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Third floor plan    

Sixteen-storey granite office building situated on the George Dock in the Pierhead area of Liverpool

The Royal Liver Friendly Society desired an exceptionally tall and impressive office building to be erected at the north end of Pierhead. The grey granite facade and monolithic nature of the Liver Building make it a dominant and striking feature on the waterfront.

The building, with its reinforced concrete skeleton and granite cladding compromises a basement and ten floors, with the two towers adding another six storeys of height. These towers are crowned by five metre high bronze Liver birds.

Primarily an office building, its largest occupant was the the Canadian Pacific Railway, occupying the basement and ground floor levels. The interior has a grand, clean and efficient style, with indulgences such as mahogany, African walnut and intricately carved and plastered ceilings. The walls, staircases and floors are covered in Durato, a material produced to cope with the heat expansion from the heating pipes.

Two interesting features of the project are the lift and heating elements. Eighteen high speed lifts were put in place to serve the public and goods services, the largest lift installation in the UK. The heating system used a series of pipes set in to the floors and walls, adding to convenience and cleanliness.


  • Begun: May 1908
  • Completed: Jul 1911
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £650,000
  • Address: Pier Head, Liverpool, L3 1HT, United Kingdom

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