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Last Updated: Monday, 17 March 2008, 11:14 GMT
Winning observatory bid unveiled
Design by Duggan Morris Architects
The design incorporates a viewing tower, cafe and exhibition centre
The winning design in a competition for a new multi-million pound visitor attraction on the River Mersey is being officially unveiled.

The Mersey Observatory will replace the existing radar tower at the mouth of the river, near Crosby Beach.

The winning design, by Duggan Morris Architects, was chosen from a shortlist of five from 92 entrants.

It consists of a 50m (164ft) viewing tower and a cafe and exhibition centre, dubbed the "lamp" and "bowl".

Joe Morris, director of Duggan Morris Architects, said: "The setting for the Mersey Observatory is entirely unique both geographically and culturally.

"The challenge was to create something to complement the extraordinary setting as well as having sufficient gravitas to act as a 'beacon' in its own right."

The existing radar tower
The new building will replace the radar tower

The tower is designed to be illuminated from the inside and contains two viewing platforms giving 360-degree views over Liverpool, Crosby beach and the River Mersey.

Crosby beach is home to Anthony Gormley's Another Place installation and a popular visitor attraction.

Ian Hamilton Fazey, chairman of the Waterloo Residents Association and also a member of the judging panel, said: "Anyone who has had the opportunity to go on to the roof of the existing radar tower knows that there is one single 'wow factor' that it is impossible to miss.

"It is simply the astonishing delight of emerging into the daylight and suddenly being confronted with an amazing 360-degree panorama of cityscape, waterscape and the mighty Mersey."

The project is led by the Mersey Basin Campaign and backed by the Northwest Regional Development Agency, Mersey Waterfront and Peel Holdings.

The observatory will offer stunning views

Observatory plans go on display
12 Feb 08 |  Merseyside
Gormley's statues stay out to sea
07 Mar 07 |  Merseyside
Statues should stay, Gormley says
20 Oct 06 |  Merseyside

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