by Ian Hughes
29th January 2020

Perfectly situated, striking features and state-of the-art facilities. Liverpool City Council’s £35 million, 160,000 sq ft, ‘the Spine’ building, offers all these things but that’s not why the region is so excited about it.

Recently topped out, once completed, the 14-storey building will represent the greatest type of development. A living, breathing and productive ecosystem, perfectly located around a supportive business and education community.

Each ‘organ’ working to support our city region’s world-renowned life sciences sector. This is not simply a building, or a workspace, this is a central support structure linked to a world of knowledge and a chain of life saving thought leaders. Here’s just a few reasons why Liverpool City Region’s ‘the Spine’ should make you sit up and take notice.



CGI artist’s impression of Liverpool Knowledge Quarter’s ‘The Spine’ located in the £1bn Paddington Village development.

Located at the centre of the £1bn Paddington Village development, itself part of Liverpool City Region’s 450-acre Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) Mayoral Development Zone; to say the Spine is in a dream location, doesn’t quite cut it.

The building’s locale makes it a key part of Liverpool City Region’s vision to cement its reputation as an international centre for life-science, healthcare and technology industries, forming part of a supportive community that, together – quite literally – has the power to change the world.

Immediate neighbours include University of Liverpool International college, Rutherford Cancer Centre North West with KQ Liverpool’s other science and tech facilities, including Liverpool Science Park, Accelerator, Sensor City, and Materials Innovation Factory, just around the corner.

In the surrounding area you also have Liverpool City Centre’s cluster of world-leading science, health and education bodies, including University of Liverpool (UoL), Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), the £157m Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and the new £429m Royal Liverpool Hospital.

All together, that’s an astounding array of international life science thought leaders, right outside the Spine’s front door, sharing ideas, expertise, resources and facilities to save and improve lives across a whole range of life science sub-sectors, something we could all reap the benefits of.



‘The Spine’ Topping Out ceremony, 21st January 2020

Top and tailing the building, The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) have snapped up seven floors of ‘the Spine’ making it their new Northern home.

As one of the world’s most respected membership bodies in the medical profession, with more than 32,000 members and fellows across the globe, RCP’s core mission is to drive improvements in health and healthcare through advocacy, education and research, shaping and enhancing public health by supporting physicians to reach their full potential.

Recently celebrating its 500th anniversary, RCP’s new Liverpool City Region home will mark the beginning of a new dawn for the body, enabling the organisation to work more closely with partners across the North of the UK.



CGI artist’s impression of Liverpool Knowledge Quarter’s ‘The Spine’ located in the £1bn Paddington Village development.

Despite RCP’s large-scale letting, seven central floors of the Spine remain, presenting an extremely attractive investment offer for health, technology, science and education operators across the globe. As of February 2020, five floors remain available, with two floors already under offer to other health-care related occupiers.

The ultra-modern building presents 3-metre-high floor to ceiling space, LED lighting, onsite underground car parking, onsite café, public gallery and exhibition space, communal breakout facilities, conference and meeting facilities, 17 person passenger lifts, a dedicated goods lift, 24-hour access and a 24-hour manned reception.

All good to have, I’m sure you’ll agree but beyond the Grade-A essentials, the Spine has a loftier ambition. This building wants you fit, healthy, happy and raring to go.



CGI artist’s impression of Liverpool Knowledge Quarter’s ‘The Spine’ located in the £1bn Paddington Village development.

The health and wellbeing of its occupants is at the very heart of the Spine building, with architects AHR seeming to have reimagined high-spec office space as a living entity, creating ‘one of the world’s healthiest buildings’.

The innovative approach to the building’s design considers the quality of life of its inhabitants, in all aspects, from physical fitness, to water, light, nourishment, air, comfort and intellectual stimulation and inspiration, with a clear ambition to be as sustainable as possible. Here’s a selection of industry accreditations that the Spine is aspiring to achieve:

BREEAM Excellent Rated – Scoring highly for energy and water efficiency, low environmental impact, high sustainability and excellent design, aiding health and wellbeing.

WELL Standard Certified – Improving the health and human experience of the building’s visitors and inhabitants through smarter, safer and healthier design.

Biophilic Design – Increasing occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature and natural feeling space and place conditions.

Platinum WIRED Certificate – Making the building ‘intelligent’ through best-in-class connectivity, Improving and promoting the building’s outstanding digital infrastructure.

Alongside these accreditations, the Spine offers a series of innovations and design flourishes to make its occupants work life cleaner, greener and more welcoming.

AIR – Exceptional air quality will be provided through a ‘living wall’ and internal ‘sky garden’, featuring an abundance of high-oxygen producing plants, along with an advanced air purification system.

FITNESS – More than 70 bike spaces, ample showers, lockers and a drying room will encourage fitness and leisure activity.

LIGHT – Providing some of the best views of the city, open floor-to-ceiling glazing, will be enhanced via the building’s ceramic façade, made up of 23 million unique “Voronoi” polygons that will react to light outside, to control glare and heat inside the building, supported by an intelligent lighting control system.

ENERGY – The Spine’s energy management and district heating system will utilise an underground heating network, providing both electricity and heat, which will serve the entire Paddington Village site, helping to cut the city’s carbon footprint emissions and meet its carbon neutral ambitions.


Forming the central backbone of Liverpool City Council’s Paddington Village development, the Spine’s distinctive panels, striking geometric staircase, trabecular columns and abundant internal space look set to ensure the building becomes as visually distinctive and appealing as London’s ‘The Shard’. But great looks can only get you so far.

The innovation displayed throughout ‘the Spine’ reveals the ambitious and pioneering nature of both the RCP and the surrounding city region. The building’s smart design and advanced facilities will support doctors and staff in improving patient care all over the world, further enhancing Liverpool City Region’s reputation as an international centre for pioneering life science.

Set for completion in September 2020, ‘the Spine’ embodies our region’s commitment to wellbeing, health and lifesaving healthcare, demonstrating what is possible when a potentially ordinary office building is reimagined to maximise the ways in which people work, live and learn.

Pursuing world-class standards of build and design, ‘the Spine’ looks set to raise the bar for sustainable future development across the UK, creating an excellent working environment for RCP and future occupiers, supporting and enriching a thriving life sciences community.

Discover more about Liverpool City Region’s Paddington Village development HERE.

Ian Hughes
Ian Hughes
Marketing Manager
29th January 2020