The Liverpool Waterfront is comprised of two key pieces which have contributed to Liverpool’s designation as the ‘World Heritage Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City’ by UNESCO. The first of these pieces is the Victorian influenced Albert Dock which is a complex of dock buildings and warehouses. Built of cast iron, brick and stone, it has impressive statuesque columns that shoulder the largest group of Grade 1 listed buildings in the country. This method of construction meant that the Albert Dock warehouses were the first in the world to be entirely fireproof. The dock is now home to the Tate Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, The Beatles Story and occasionally some beautiful Tall Ships.
The second waterfront piece of the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City is the magnificent Pier Head. The Pier Head is the main focal point of Liverpool's waterfront and is dominated by three of it’s most recognisable landmarks: The Royal Liver Building - the iconic symbol of Liverpool with a pair of clock towers that are the home of the two fabled Liver Birds that look out in opposite directions over the city and the sea. Legend has it that were these two birds to fly away, then the city would cease to exist; the Port of Liverpool Building - an Edwardian Baroque style building which was constructed as home to the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board; and, last but by no means least, the Cunard Building - an interesting architectural mix of Italian Renaissance and Greek Revival and the original home of the world famous Cunard Line of cruise ships. Collectively referred to as the Three Graces, they stand as a testament to the tremendous wealth in the city during the late 19th and early 20th century when Liverpool was one of the most important ports in the world. In more recent times this collection of beautiful waterfront buildings has been joined by a modern, striking and occasionally controversial set of buildings. These include the newly rebuilt Museum of Liverpool, light in colour and angular in build and the dark, glassy Mann Island buildings.
Culture Liverpool and Liverpool City Council have recently put on a series of events under the umbrella of ‘One Magnificent City’. I had the pleasure of visiting Liverpool, my former home for around 5 years, during this period and felt inspired to produce a small project of my own. This project is an impressionistic look at some of the famous architecture, both old and new, and the maritime heritage of the Liverpool Waterfront. The method of abstraction in this case involved photographing the reflections in the very water on which Liverpool’s maritime history was built. The following series of photographs are a small study into not only how the water has shaped Liverpool as a city but also how Liverpool has continued to regenerate and grow into the vibrant cultural centre that it is today. Liverpool, in the small period of time that it has been a part of my life, has stepped forward and allowed itself to be the bright, bold place that it should be while at the same time holding a healthy respect and a sense of pride in its history.
So please step into the water and view Liverpool in Reflection...
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