The Islington area of Liverpool had become a neglected zone, bypassed by regeneration and without any clear future vision on the city’s new Strategic Investment Framework. Home to Liverpool’s historic fabric and garment trade, it was still home to a cluster of thriving niche businesses and a distinctive blend of functional industrial and historic architecture. Without a clear identity and vision, city planners were now favouring a start from scratch approach, sanctioning a series of identikit residential and student blocks and systematically destroying its nexus of historic streets and tight urban grain.
Working with a small group of local businesses, property owners and sympathetic small-scale developers, we worked to develop a new place identity that could drive a more imaginative and respectful regeneration framework.
Developing ideas initially with this key group, we widened out the conversation to engage stakeholders, neighbours, the City Council, Universities and the Knowledge Quarter Board to promote a radically different set of possibilities.
The Fabric District brand was a celebration of the area’ history and an acknowledgement of its still important commercial function and identity. The place vision, that we developed with partners, embraced the potential to rethink and experiment with abandoned industrial buildings rather than destroy them, and create spaces for innovation, imagination and enterprise. Fabric District would be human-scale neighbourhood that would transform the wider Knowledge Quarter from a zone into a thriving and fertile urban place.