Main contractor Russell WBHO has completed installation of the steel frame for a new four-storey extension to the building’s rear elevation.
The new structure will house the hotel’s swimming pool, gym and spa, lift core and some of the 179 luxury guest suites. There will also be a private drop-off entrance for VIP guests at the rear of the former council offices in Dale Street, which is being developed by Singapore-based hotel specialist Fragrance Group.
Gareth Russell, joint managing director of Russell WBHO, said: “The extension is an integral part of this project, providing guests with the modern, high-end spa facilities they’d rightfully expect in a hotel of this calibre.
“Linking the new steel frame to the existing structure was particularly challenging given the Grade II* listing of the Municipal Buildings. But, thanks to our collaboration with the architects, structural engineers and the support of the city’s heritage officers, the installation has been a great success and provides us with a moment worth marking, to thank the whole project team for its hard work.”
The extension is sandwiched between the existing 1868 building and a neighbouring multi-storey car park, making access and installation challenging. The team utilised a mobile crane to create the two four-storey towers and the connecting infill section which will hold the first-floor pool. The steelwork structure is mostly independent of the original building, but connects via link corridors and dedicated Spa & Pool entrance.
Installation of the bronze effect glazed cladding is due to start soon, while the original building continues to undergo cleaning and careful restoration of the existing stone, brickwork, and timber windows behind scaffolding protection.
The refurbishment of the heritage building, and the addition of an eye-catching contemporary extension have been designed by Liverpool-based architect Falconer Chester Hall. Director Alastair Shepherd said: “This is an incredible historic building and all of the new-build elements will be clad to complement the existing façade, I’m really looking forward to revealing the blend of old and new as the project progresses.
“The steel framework is key to the new-build element and will support additional bedrooms and an exciting new leisure offering. It’s visible from the surrounding streets so people are now getting more of a sense of the vast progress that has been made.
“The hotel will offer a unique guest experience that ‘tells the story’ of its host city. It will include a number of truly special suites, accessible guest rooms made possible through improved access, as well as a restaurant, bar, lounge, daytime dining area, meeting rooms plus a pool, spa and treatment rooms.”
The professional team also includes structural engineers Curtins Consulting, Koncept ID interior design and specialist heritage architect Stephen Levrant.
The Russell WBHO senior project team with trainees at the Municipal Buildings project in Liverpool.
View of the steel frame from inside the new structure