The Capital – Liverpool
(Formerly New Hall Place or the Royal Sun Alliance Building)
Architects: Tripe & Wakeham Partnership
This building was constructed as part of Liverpool’s waterfront renewal programme in 1976 and is situated just a couple of hundred metres from the Royal Liver Building – Britain’s first reinforced concrete structure. It originally housed the Royal Sun Alliance Insurance group, and the shape of the building was dictated by the company’s structure at the time. Each of the 13 floors was occupied by a single department, with the larger departments at the bottom and smaller ones at the top. The resulting irregular pyramid shape gives a massive, heavy feel to the structure and this is accentuated by the narrow slit windows, which were designed to maximise energy efficiency. The vertically ribbed concrete has a sandy yellow colour that provides a nice contrast to the blue grey of the other buildings that make up Liverpool’s skyline when viewed from the Mersey.