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In an unlikely partnership between the building’s new owner and local skating troupe Rollerdrome, the building’s spectacular beauty is being showcased, on skates.
In a beautiful film, roller skaters roam freely around the large, open-lit banking hall, across ornamental marble and stone flooring, under an ornate, vast glass ceiling.
The skaters then roll through the building, up the main staircase into the remarkably well-preserved original boardroom dressed with a walnut ceiling detailed with gold, emerald green, sea motifs, dolphins, ships, mermaids and Liver Birds. All nodding to Liverpool’s maritime history, purposed to reflect the power and prestige as Martins Bank’s national Head Office.
The skaters even venture into the lower ground vaults which famously stored the Bank of England’s gold reserves in 1939 during the war.
The bank’s doors have been closed since 2009 and, despite numerous projects and ideas, the building has remained empty except for a handful of events and film sets.
Recently acquired by Kinrise, a community-minded real estate company with a reputation for their ‘restore over rebuild’ ethos and a focus on design-led workspaces within historic settings. The firm has revealed plans to turn the 210,000 sq ft building into a hybrid mix of work, social and restaurant space, with Martins being their largest acquisition to date.
Kinrise are working with architects Red Deer and Brock Carmichael, the renovation is due to begin in July 2022. It will take two years with the building reopening in 2024.
“Martins is such an important and imposing building that is so closely tied to Liverpool, its history, culture and community. We want the building’s renovation to be open and accessible once more so it can be enjoyed and experienced by everyone across the city. As work progresses we are delighted to share updates and insights on this iconic building that belongs to the city.
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