‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ site granted new life

5 November 2014


A new training centre at Strawberry Fields, in Liverpool – the site of the Salvation Army’s former children’s home of the same name and immortalised by The Beatles – has been granted planning permission.

The famous site in Woolton, a suburb of Liverpool, will primarily accommodate a day centre providing training for young adults with learning disabilities. The centre will also include a heritage exhibit, which will explore the history of both the Salvation Army's Christian mission in Liverpool as well as the links to Beatles legend, John Lennon. The iconic gates will be opened up to provide public access to the site for the first time.

Major Drew McCombe - The Salvation Army's Divisional Leader in Liverpool - explains, ‘The next step will now focus on revisiting our research and development plans to ensure we meet the needs of the community and to seek internal permissions to raise additional funds to turn this vision into a reality.’

Max Fordham, part of the design team led by Gareth Hoskins Architects, has designed a subtle and straightforward M&E strategy in keeping with the architectural design and one that responds to the needs of the people who will attend the centre. Natural ventilation, daylighting and ease of use are key features of the scheme.

Matt Dickinson, the Senior Partner in charge of Max Fordham’s Manchester office is leading the scheme. He says, ‘This project has two very different types of user so it was important that our design closely complimented the architecture. The main challenge from our perspective was to ensure that all the plant would be hidden in order to not detract from the elegant outline of the pavilion’.