Britannia Pavilion

As part of our ongoing work at the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool, we were asked to improve the access through The Britannia Pavilion between the courtyard and quayside. An important thoroughfare between attractions like the Beatles Story and Tate Liverpool, and beyond to the city centre, it was often overlooked due to its closed-off appearance and narrow entrance ways.

The existing 30-year-old doors onto the courtyard did not provide an opening wide enough to suit current accessibility regulations, and neither the manual swing door nor the revolving door was fit for purpose, being extremely difficult to navigate for anyone in a wheelchair or pushing a pram, both causing congestion at one of the most popular attractions in Liverpool.

Finding a proposal which was suitable for the Grade I listed building meant detailed discussions with the Local Authority which had to be balanced with the brief for the client in improving accessibility, wayfinding and increasing footfall.

Our response was to install double doors to the full width of the brick arched entrance to Britannia Courtyard, which are fixed open during the day and locked shut overnight, thereby maximising the available width. To the Quayside we removed the revolving and manual doors, replacing them with a pair of glazed sliding doors providing unhindered access and a much improved appearance. Meanwhile the arcade linking the two entrances was refurbished and new lighting installed.

Above each new door simple, directional signage has been provided to improve wayfinding. This is in line with the wider signage scheme for The Dock. Likewise colours were chosen from the approved palette for the site. The sliding doors feature a new surround in ‘Raven Grey’ which also incorporates new signage.

The new additions are subtle in their approach but their impact is already being felt with much improved access in this specific area of The Royal Albert Dock, and with the current requirement for social distancing the implementation couldn’t have been better timed.