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Revealed: North's tallest skyscraper to be shaped like crucifix

King Edward Tower - Pile of spuds or divine inspiration?

Published on October 25th 2012.

Revealed: North's tallest skyscraper to be shaped like crucifix

A CRUCIFIX-shaped skyscraper, which would be the tallest UK building outside London, has been earmarked for the Liverpool waterfront. 

Architect Maurice Shapero has released new plans for the cross-shaped building on the site of the old King Edward pub, acknowledging it is “the symbol which references one of the ultimate places in human spirituality”. Something that former regulars of the pub, whose afternoon delights included strippers and all-day lock-ins, would undoubtedly agree with. 

The building will be called The King Edward Tower, although all connections with the word Peel end there.

King Edward Tower LiverpoolKing Edward Tower Liverpool

Instead, Shapero’s remarkable skyscraper is backed by Peter Buglass of the convivially named Custard Pie Properties which owns part of the postage-stamp site at the junction of The Strand and Leeds Street.

In January this year, proposals were put forward for the 199m-tall skyscraper, which would dwarf Manchester's whistling Beetham Tower by 31m. Then the building took the form of a shipping container. 

But now Manchester-based Shapero has seemingly gone back to the drawing board. The 67-storey, mixed-use apartment and office tower scheme features a cantilevered restaurant – or as Shapero would have it “a horizontal element free from the tethers of ground”. 


This creates the cruciform which, Shapero admits, could be contentious. But he says: “Should I be restricted from using it when it has come from my own investigation, imagination, conclusion?” 

The restaurant would offer panoramic views of the city, including the, er, Panoramic restaurant in what is currently Liverpool's tallest building. Beetham's West Tower, over the road, is Lilliputian at only 90m.

Will it ever happen?

According to reports, the architect plans to submit a planning application for the building - which would be the fifth tallest in the UK - early next year and, somewhat crucially, “once funding issues have been resolved”. 

'A balancing feminine gesture to its own relentless Yang'

Architect Maurice Shapero explains his thinking behind the crucifx-shaped King Edward Tower.

"The King Edward Tower has been refined away from the metaphor of the shipping container. A hangover inherited from a previous life, a good enough starting point, but one which didn’t sound very true.

Maurice ShaperoMaurice ShaperoA single apartment footprint staggers in plan and extrudes upwards defining a commercially viable hulk, a hand with fingers. Each finger exudes a strong vertical elegance at odds with its real mass. At once expressing function, but in conflict with its true purpose - the age old tension between art and capitalism.

All this verticality needs a counter, it invites opposition. A horizontal element free from the tethers of ground. A balancing, feminine gesture to its own relentless Yang.

A dramatic cantilevered restaurant breaks the form high in the sky.

My favourite geometry - an intersection from opposite spatial directions - a Cartesian grid - the Cross.

I come to it from rational inevitability. Two of the three extreme dimensions of space.

The obvious question……this is the symbol which references one of the ultimate places in human spirituality.Should I be restricted from using it when it has come from my own investigation, imagination, conclusion?

Equally obvious is my answer, to me hierarchy and ownership are as illusory as everything else in this world."

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32 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Angie Sammons shared this on Facebook on October 25th 2012.
Jelly HeadOctober 25th 2012.

Can't see this ever happening. If it fell over it would demolish Woodside ferry

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 25th 2012.

maybe that's the idea

AnonymousOctober 25th 2012.

Shouldn't that be Custard Pie In The Sky Properties?

Alan InterviewOctober 25th 2012.

You are a miserable lot LOL!

Bob (not a builder)October 25th 2012.

Is it just me or is there a somewhat depressing lack of windows in that building?

Is that irony? What with religion being used to keep people in the dark?

AnonymousOctober 25th 2012.

I Guess we have a cathedral shaped like a custard pie so why not let them build a giant cross?

Postman PatOctober 25th 2012.

The Sandcastle opposite also has a lack of windows and is a thoroughly depressing building, Bob (Not A Builder). One would imagine it is an irony lost on the architect, but you never know.

Ramon DeusOctober 26th 2012.

I think it is magnificent and if acheived will draw even more toursits to the city. It always seems a pity, to me, that many people are unable to accept or accommodate change, forward and inovative thinking and design.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Barry WilkinsonOctober 30th 2012.

Ramon..most bloggers on here dont give a toss what is built in liverpool..they are more interested in their own erections..lol

Stanley StreetOctober 26th 2012.

Surely any building called The King Edward Tower ought to be in the shape of a cigar?

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyOctober 26th 2012.

or a potato.

Paul WardOctober 26th 2012.

Yay. nothing says Christianity better than thousands of tons of concrete.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyOctober 26th 2012.

The question is will it start as many wars?

John BradleyOctober 26th 2012.

It will probably kill less people.

Stanley StreetOctober 28th 2012.

'FEWER' ffs

Emma BOctober 26th 2012.

I assume you mean Cross-shaped, Larry? I doubt even RCs would want a 199 metre Christ attached to a building!

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 26th 2012.

What's Larry got to do with it? Or did you mean a cross-shaped Larry?

Stanley StreetOctober 26th 2012.

Cruciform then?

John BradleyOctober 26th 2012.

Well strictly speaking in latin Cruicform would mean stake like.

Arthur AdamsOctober 26th 2012.

Slightly odd shaped phallic symbol, but a phallic symbol none the less. It's the architectural equivalent of a pissing up the wall contest.

Luke.Temple.WalshOctober 27th 2012.

A coincidence for me as I recently revealed on my website that architectural designs I presented in artworks in the late 1980's have since been used as the basis for designs in Liverpool corporate building developments without my permission.

Contemporaneously, I created a comic strip in which appeared a re-imagined Mersey waterfront dominated by one huge oppressive tower upon one entire face of which was a giant crucifix.

The piece was a muddled satire, suggestive of a retro-futuristic Church of England's oppression of Paganism, and even more confusedly featured a white Rasta having sex with a Catholic girl. In one scene their lovemaking is rudely interrupted by the intervention of a group of armed para-military types smashing into the apartment. These "procreation-police" are distinguished by white combat suits and full face-masks into which the St. George's cross design has been insinuated. In this particular dystopia, sex is illegal.

Of course the building proposal that is the subject of the article this reply addresses, is a folly, an architect's joke. Those chaps get a kick out of publicizing their bizarre suggestions and seeing how the locals react. After all, we already have a giant crucifix in Liverpool. Notwithstanding that it is stuck into the ground right up to the hilt, a Brobdingnagian sword plunged earthward as if by the sinewy hand of some Gothic deity.

The superficial design of the proposal is obviously influenced by spaceships from Star Wars. I presume an ironic reference to The Empire? It would be preferable to see Maurice Shapero and chums' umpteen billion pound proposals suggested for projects aimed at improving healthcare, community, education and culture, and the general standard of living for the local population, rather than silly new-agey flights of fancy about monuments to empty-headed design and corporate self congratulation that pretend to invoke zen.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Barry WilkinsonOctober 30th 2012.

Seen a doctor recently ????

Stanley StreetOctober 27th 2012.

Aye, there's nowt new in the world, only what we've been careless enough to forget and then have to go through the whole rigmarole of learning it again.

John Steele.November 3rd 2012.

Why not give a go. , ! Build it. The once regal,and stately 3 graces waterfront has been swamped and destroyed. By other garish. Horrors of building it does not matter now !

Barry WilkinsonNovember 4th 2012.

Mcr Shapiro are simply taking the 'P'
all of this gets them and only them a lot of FREE publicity.
We all know it will never get a spade in the ground and as for Peels plans..there is already a wood chip power station planned..so why would you consider residential ?

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