Exchanging Complexity for Simplicity

Exchange Station is one of Liverpool’s iconic commercial buildings and forms a cornerstone of the city’s central business district. Redeveloped into offices in 1986 following the demise of the railway terminus it once supported, the building formerly known as Mercury Court was configured into 4 separate ‘houses’, with a central atrium that had become outdated, underused and was hindering the building’s prospects.

Our strategy was to unlock the potential of this central space by reimagining the atrium into a multi-function Concourse, for the benefit of the occupiers of the 200,000 ft² office space it served as well as the wider business district.

Rotating each ‘house’ entrance to be accessed from inside of the atrium as opposed to externally, combined with the formation of an open and welcoming arrival experience through the creation of a brand new single entrance from Tithebarn Street, bought purpose and life to the Concourse. Doing so simplified the building’s complicated form and identity, making it far easier for visitors and customers to navigate into and around the building.

Sector | Workplace

Completion | 2013

Client | Space Northwest / Aviva Investors

Awards | BCO – British Council for Offices Northern Awards (best fit out of a workplace), Manchester Society of Architects – Commendation.

Copyright | Courtesy of BDP

The Concourse at Exchange Buildings is a stunning collaborative space where customers can work with pride in one of Liverpool’s iconic commercial buildings.

Where the atrium once separated the ‘houses’, the Concourse now connects them physically, creating a highly active communal space that brings the building together in a place that promotes business and collaboration. This strategy enables prospective customers to potentially reduce their floor space requirements, with meeting and conference facilities and agile work settings being shared in a co-working environment.

This not only has the ability to reduce rental costs for businesses choosing Exchange Station, but also leads to productivity gains and wider wellbeing benefits associated with a campus style approach to workplace design. The concourse is now a space that works for the building and the building’s users. It adapts to their changing needs without imposing itself on them, moreover it succeeds in re-establishing a once well known and loved destination within the city, one that these businesses can now be proud to call their own.

Behind the scenes