‘Returning Humanity’. Competition, in collaboration with OMMX, Resolve Collective; Create; Lily Mellor;
Kellenberger-White; Jane Wentworth Associates; Arup; Focus Consultants

Client: National Museums Liverpool

JCLA were part of a team shortlisted for the international design competition for Liverpool’ historic Canning Dock; a graving dock for ships, and the surrounding public realm. Our proposal focussed on returning nature and humanity to the docks, actively engaging with the rich but turbulent history of the area and addressing complex issues such as the city’s role in the slave trade and issues of inequalities in access to green space amid the current climate & biodiversity crises.

6 shortlisted teams were invited to create an installation on the dockside to activate the waterfront and engage with local communities. Our response, based on the regional areas of Liverpool, drew together narratives of landscape, nature, urban development and public space in the city, inviting the public to share thoughts, observations and ideas. Plants sourced from a local nursery, including species with notable local relevance such as the county flower of Merseyside, were integrated into the pieces, exploring three strands of landscape narrative: The wider Mersey basin landscape of upper mosslands and lower peat bogs, referencing the history of extraction and exploitation of the landscape; Green space in the city highlighting discrepancies in access and perception within Liverpool’s rich heritage of parks and civic open space; and the Estuary landscape of sand dunes, salt marshes and mud flats, acknowledging the pivotal role of the port and river as the foundation for trade in the City.

More information on the shortlisted entries can be found here: