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Tower of Love

A new cultural landmark for Blackpool

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Client: Local Council
Status: Completed 2012
Location: Blackpool, UK
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Type/Sector: Cultural, Leisure
Tagged: Engineered Timber, Mixed Use, Sustainability Exemplars

Collaborators

Lead/ Landscape Consultant LDA Design
Civil & Structural Engineer Michael Hadi Associates
M&E Consultant Michael Popper Associates
Fire Consultant JGA
BREEAM Consultant Alan Pither LTD
Contractor Parkinson Building Contractor

Our ‘Tower of Love’ pavilion on the Tower Festival Headland, close to North Pier and below Blackpool Tower, was the first building to be built on the Golden Mile for a great many years. It provides a focal point for visitors; a restaurant and local tourist information office at promenade level, with registry offices and ceremony hall above.

Collaborators

Lead/ Landscape Consultant LDA Design
Civil & Structural Engineer Michael Hadi Associates
M&E Consultant Michael Popper Associates
Fire Consultant JGA
BREEAM Consultant Alan Pither LTD
Contractor Parkinson Building Contractor
Ceremony window
Ceremony window
Roof terrace
Roof terrace
LDA Design Comedy Carpet
LDA Design Comedy Carpet
01 A new landmark

When LDA Design won a competition to redevelop the Golden Mile, we joined the team to design a pavilion for the Tower Festival Headland, close to North Pier and below the Grade 1-listed Blackpool Tower.

The local council were looking for a new landmark that would celebrate Blackpool’s confidence as a traditional seaside resort with a 21st-Century outlook. They saw an opportunity to create a new cultural landmark that the proud people of Blackpool could call their own.

We made proposals for a number of pavilion buildings to be set within a new surreal landscape along Blackpool’s seafront including an artificial dune scape, fantastical outsized sculptures and a spectacular recreation of the northern lights.

Tower of Love restaurant
Tower of Love restaurant
Blackpool Tower
Blackpool Tower
LDA Design Comedy Carpet
LDA Design Comedy Carpet
02 Sustainable views

Our main focus was to capitalise on the building’s surrounding views.

We designed a ‘telescopic’ wedding tower where a vertical view of Blackpool Tower frames where couples exchange vows and created horizontal views of the Irish Sea in the Registry, reception, roof terrace and restaurant.

The building is constructed from engineered timber and stands on a stepped concrete plinth containing recycled and phosphorescent glass. It is a deliberate eye-catcher and lookout point, clad in golden stainless-steel shingles.

Framing the Blackpool Tower
Framing the Blackpool Tower
Vows with a view
Vows with a view
Concept diagram.
Concept diagram.
03 Celebrating Blackpool

The expressive form and detailing, executed with great skill and care by the local contractor, is a celebration of Blackpool’s renowned exuberance. It combines the bracing coastal weather with BREEAM Excellent construction and a sensual, wooden interior.

We are proud both of its prominence and of the challenging and innovative way in which we used timber in its build.

More than anything, the Tower of Love is for us a beacon of joy: an expression of love, pride, and happiness on the steps between the Blackpool Illuminations and the Irish Sea.

Tower of Love became such a special project for me that when my husband and I got married, we knew there could be no other venue for the wedding ceremony. We were extra-honoured that David Hill, the superintendent registrar with whom we built an amazing rapport during the project, came out of retirement to preside over the ceremony.

Saskia Lencer
Saskia Lencer
Director
Construction

Insight: Saskia Lencer

Concrete blockwork with recycled phosphorescent glass and stainless-steel shingles
Concrete blockwork with recycled phosphorescent glass and stainless-steel shingles
Tower of Love exterior
Tower of Love exterior
CLT interior
CLT interior
Second floor wedding room
Second floor wedding room
Hold and drag to explore
East elevation
East elevation
North elevation
North elevation
A rare thing – a place for civic weddings that is celebratory rather than bureaucratic. They have also sought to capture the spirit of Blackpool without being patronising or cliched. In both they have succeeded, and by offering various views – of tower, horizon, front and streets – as you progress through the building, they help you appreciate what is good about the town.
Charles Moore
The Observer

Awards

2012
Winner RIBA Award
2012
Regional Finalist Civic Trust Awards

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