Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Liverpool (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SJ 41313 83849


SJ 48 SW 392/10/1179

LIVERPOOL SPEKE ROAD Liverpool Airport Hangar 1

II* Airport hangar, converted to commercial use as a sports centre 2001-3. Completed 1937, with later minor additions, now removed. Built to the designs of E.H. Bloomfield of the Liverpool Corporation's Land Steward and Surveyor's office, as one of 3 component structures designed as the central ensemble for the new Liverpool municipal airport. Structural steel frame with brown brick walling panels and corner piers, supporting a steel lattice truss roof structure.

PLAN: Hangar with massive open plan interior, one of 2 hangars designed to flank a central curved terminal building and to face onto a wide V-shaped apron at the perimeter of a grass flying field. Oriented north-west to south-east, with front and side hangar doors to south-east and south-west elevations.

EXTERIOR: The south-east end and south-west side elevations form the building's principal architectural elements. They incorporate wide hangar doorways originally fitted with 'Esavian' motorised folding doors, now retained in folded position behind C21 glass screens. Flanking these door openings are substantial brick piers incorporating blue brick pilaster detailing, and concrete banding. At the heads of the piers are stone bas-relief panels depicting standing winged figures. Above the end doorway is a wide glazed multi-light panel with 3 tiers of lights shaped like a bird with outstretched wings. The 'body' of the bird appears to be shaped to resemble an airship. The area above this panel has a shallow double pitched roof, extending the length of the building and incorporating clerestorey lights. The side walls have continuous glazed panels at upper wall level, and lower lean to structures extend on both sides. The side entrance incorporates a wide glazed band or overlight above the hangar doorway.

INTERIOR: Conversion to sports hall usage has necessitated the insertion of flooring at the south-east end of the building, and the insertion of glazed screens in place of the motorised doors, which are retained in their folded position. The roof structure remains fully exposed, although it now supports metal ducting.

HISTORY: The hangar was planned as part of the original ensemble, and was the first of the buildings to be completed. It is 407 feet long, 212 feet wide and 65 feet high at the apex. The outbuildings originally located on 3 sides of the building included a technical administration block, a workshop and a garage. The motorised doors to the south-east elevation were the largest of their type in the world when installed. The building, which remained in use as a hangar for light aircraft until the commencement of the conversion project, had seen declining use along with the other 1930's buildings when the new Liverpool airport and terminal opened in 1986. The building underwent comprehensive repair and refurbishment in 1999-2001, and has now been converted for use as a sports centre. Forms a group with the former Liverpool Airport International Terminal (former Hangar 2.) (q.v.) and the former Liverpool Airport Control Tower and Terminal (q.v.)

SOURCES: 'Speke Airport, Liverpool' Unpublished report prepared for English Partnerships by Stephen Levrant. 1997. ' Berlin, Liverpool, Paris - Airport Architectura of the Thirties.' Paul Smith and Bernard Toulier. 2000. The former No.1 Hangar at the former Speke Airport is of special architectural interest as a major component of the most complete civil aviation ensemble of the pioneer phase of international air travel to survive in England. Designed by E.H. Bloomfield, the hangar formed part of the most ambitious municipal airport project of the inter-War period, and had a significant military role in the second World War. It is the most monumentally conceived and architecturally imposing hangar to survive from the inter-war period


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Levrant, S, Speke Airport, Liverpool, (1997)
Rees, P, A Guide to Merseysides Industrial Past, (1984), 19
Smith, P, Toulier, B, Berlin, Liverpool, Paris: Airport Architecture of the Thirties, (2000)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 07 May 2007
Reference: IOE01/16492/08
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Ronald May. Source Historic England Archive
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