Michael Cosser Partner
BA(Hons), BArch(Hons), MCD, ARB, MRTPI
As partner and director of Brock Carmichael Asia, Michael represents part of the global face of the practice, leading projects across China and Hong Kong, alongside those much closer to home.
An RIBA, RTPI and Urban Design Group member, he has been a practising architect and planner for over 30 years, specialising in brownfield regeneration, large-scale dockland and inner city housing, as well as the conservation and conversion of listed buildings for residential use.
Favourite Building in Liverpool:
The India Building, Water Street was built between 1924 and 1932, and rebuilt after bomb damage in 1941. The competition to design it was won by Arnold Thornely and Herbert J. Rowse, (assessed by Giles Gilbert Scott). The building, is influenced by the Italian Renaissance and Beaux-Arts styles and the Liverpool Corporation stipulated that an arcade of shops should run through its centre.
The Grade II* building will be given a new lease of life this year as HMRC expects to move 3,500 people into its new Regional Centre over ten floors of the building.
Favourite Building in the world:
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Johnson Wax Headquarters, (1936-9 in Racine, Wisconsin) was designed in his organic architecture style with references to natural forms. The main open-plan office space is forest-like with double-height space featuring tree-like columns that sprout from nine-inch bases and widen to create lily-pad-shaped concrete tops. It has a mezzanine level surrounding the office space designated for the administrators to view the floor below.
Wright’s design was built using advanced construction techniques for the 1930s. The columns didn’t fit building code at the time, and Wright was forced to demonstrate that they could support twelve tons. During the tests, the columns didn’t falter until sixty tons.
We are increasingly aware of the importance of workplace design on employee health and wellbeing and its impact on satisfaction and productivity. Wright was years ahead of his time on this with his biophilic design of the office space. Mankind developed in the savannas of Africa and the interior is reminiscent of a savanna forest, providing the same biophilic feeling of refuge that a real savanna would provide. This is one of the reasons that it has remained largely unchanged for the past 80 years.