Project Date: January 2010
Known as one of the Three Graces, the Cunard Building is a World Heritage site on Liverpool’s waterfront. Built during the First World War, the building served as the headquarters and main passenger terminal for the world’s most famous shipping company, the Cunard Steamship Company.
The steam ships, which included the Mauritania, the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary, sailed from the Cunard Building to Canada and the US. The building was originally designed to the highest specification to reflect life upon Cunard’s luxury liners.
Now, the historic building is owned by Merseyside Pension Fund and occupied by a variety of public and privately-owned organisations. We were appointed by Managing Agents CB Richard Ellis to refurbish the boardroom, communal areas and toilets in the six-storey building, and also turn the former passenger lounge into high-quality office space achieving maximum rent potential.
How we inspired:
We wanted to bring the building into the 21st century without losing the many original features that reflect a bygone era of elegant voyages to recapture the grace and excitement of the Cunard Building.
The extensive project involved restoring all of the ornate ceilings and fluted columns, which were originally built with marble imported from Italy and Africa. We also restored the mahogany panelled doors and brass ironmongery throughout the building, including the giant central staircase.
The greatest transformation was the former passenger lounge and boardroom on the second floor. We wanted the office space to retain its original appearance so glass partitions were used to divide the corridor and workspace. Lighting along the floor reflects the gangways that passengers would have walked along on to the cruise ships.
After restoring the ceilings and columns in the passenger lounge, we used lighting and colour to give them a more contemporary edge.
In the centre of the passenger lounge, occupying a commanding position on the waterfront, is the boardroom with its floor-to-ceiling windows and panelled walls. Our team used their passion and attention to detail to create a beautiful office space that is unique to the Cunard Building.
The restoration of the Cunard Building is one of the most prestigious, challenging and rewarding projects that Jennor has won in our 31-year history.
The building has been a landmark on the Liverpool waterfront for almost a century and is synonymous with the city’s maritime wealth. Now, it is both a striking and sustainable office space for the future.
Our client’s view:
“The high-spec refurbishment of the Cunard Building has transformed it into one of the most exciting office developments in Liverpool. Its heritage combined with the new bold and contemporary design, excellent internal facilities and superb location is a winning combination.”
Neil Rogers, Project manager at CB Richard Ellis