Liverpool ‘rocket ship’ building that could have been a city icon

It could have been one of Liverpool’s best loved landmarks, and if it had come to fruition, the city’s world-famous skyline would have looked very different.

The Liverpool ‘rocket ship’ building design, which in 1959 came in second place in a competition to design a new city centre cathedral, is as striking and futuristic as the picture suggests.

Built in place of the ‘rocket ship’ building was of course the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, which narrowly won first place and was opened in 1967, becoming a Liverpool icon.

Fredrick Gibbeerd’s Metropolitan Cathedral design is without a doubt a modern architectural wonder that to this day is beautiful and awe-inspiring.

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In second place was the striking design by C.H.R. Bailey, which many have suggested looked like a rocket ship.

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The design was brought to life by the QuickQuid website, which created new images of what great British unbuilt buildings might have looked like.

The QuickQuid site says: "Often, the most exciting ideas for buildings, bridges, and towers make it no further than the blueprint stage."

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It adds: "C.H.R. Bailey’s entry to the 1959 competition for Liverpool’s new cathedral looks like it was ripped from the film set of sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet, released just three years previously.

"The design is centred on a rocket-ship… a tower wedged in the grip of a circle of giant bird beaks that echo the curves of Sydney Opera House."

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

The picture was posted to a thread on Reddit by a user, which read: “How CHR Bailey’s futuristic Catholic Cathedral would have looked in situ if the design hadn't been narrowly beaten by that of Sir Frederick Gibberd.”

The post caught the imagination of online users, some impressed, and some less so, by the design concept.

Sharing their view on what could have been for Liverpool’s skyline, one Reddit user said: “Looks s***, the one we have is much nicer.”

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Another said: “To me it looks like a platform for a rocket, in which case the rocket is designed to look like the Shard in London.”

A third commented: “It looks like a white blancmange.”

The current structure is perched proudly high above the city and it would be hard to imagine anything else in its place.

What are your thoughts on the ‘rocket ship’ design which came runner up to the current Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral?

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