Wavertree Herbarium

March 2013

Wavertree Herbarium

The Wavertree Botanic Gardens were established by William Roscoe in the 1830s. A complex of buildings all but destroyed during the Blitz, included glasshouses and a herbarium.

This scheme reinstates the original building complex in a way fit for modern times, adding a series of exhibition spaces to further visitor engagement with the work and history of the herbarium.

The form of the building looks back to the Botanic Gardens as they were at the moment of destruction, manifesting as a series of shards of concrete, glass and corroded metal.

Order is brought to this chaos though links to prominent surrounding features, both local landmarks and the wider context of Liverpool’s Victorian ring of parks. Views through the building to landmarks such as the Littlewoods Tower further draw people in.

Spaces are formed between concrete shards. The separation between public and private realm is emphasised by cladding private areas in a Cor-ten expanded mesh, whilst leaving public areas exposed. The cladding allows for the insertion of windows behind, whilst retaining the building’s monolithic form.