Who's In The House: Live in harmony

The formerly run-down Concert Square area of Liverpool is now a thriving centre for DJs, cafes, bars and galleries

In 1990, the building around Concert Square was a derelict warehouse in a run-down area of Liverpool. It was about to be turned into a car park. Built around 1910 for a pharmaceuticals company, by the Fifties and Sixties the building was owned by confectionery wholesalers, supplying corner shops with Kit-Kats and Mars bars. In the Seventies and Eighties the building had become a wholesale outlet for beer, before shutting down and falling into disrepair.

Property developers Urban Splash rescued the building from demolition with a vision of how to transform it. Jonathan Falkingham and Tom Bloxham, the two directors, thought they would enjoy loft living in the city centre, and that other people would too. Estate agents told them there would be no demand, but Urban Splash sold all the apartments before renovation work had even begun. Lower floors were rented out to bars, galleries and restaurants.

Concert Square Building, redesigned by Shed architects, was completed in 1995. It has transformed the area from a place that was out of bounds at night, to the most exciting and lively part of Liverpool - the equivalent of Temple Bar in Dublin or Soho in London.

Who's in your house?

If you are a group of people who live, or work, separately but within the same building and would like to be featured on this page, write to Who's in the House?, The Independent Magazine, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL, giving a contact phone number, your address, and details of the type of building you occupy. Please also include recent photographs (which you do not want returned) of your homes or offices.

107.6 Crash FM radio station

Opened: March 1998

Charlie C, DJ for 'Charlie's Jam', on Sunday nights

Crash FM chose to locate in the centre of Liverpool, five minutes down the road from the superclub Cream. It has an alternative music policy, covering house, garage, soul, funk and indie, with not too many big chart hits. The station has a large, open-plan office and broadcasts live from two studios. Charlie C has been with Crash from the beginning. He plays R&B, hip hop and swing and, he believes that, "Liverpool is the music capital of the world."

Beluga bar

Opened: November 1995

Julie and Mary Stephenson

When sisters Julie and Mary Stephenson took on the basement of Concert Square it was filled with water and had no gas or electricity. Despite this, Julie says, "It had a great feeling to it." Doing it up was "really stressful", but it paid off because the bar has been successful from the day it opened. The sisters did most of the work themselves - shunning help from interior designers. They painted the walls, put down wooden flooring, sorted out the lighting, chose the furniture and were ready to go.


Opened: February 1997

Rachel Kearney and Jay Gordon (both assistant managers), James Power, Edward St Aubyn-Dafnis

Rococomodo is a dark and glamorous bar. It feels womb-like, as if you could sink into a leather sofa and never get out again. The lighting is kept low and the music is played softly. Shed and Urban Splash own the site and designed it, from the wallpaper to the menus. The furniture includes Gothic-style benches upholstered in dark green fabric. Rococomodo prefers to focus on elegance, rather than trends.

Open Eye Gallery

Opened: November 1996

Paul Mellor, gallery director

The Open Eye Gallery shows photography from around the world. It is a registered charity which was awarded a National Lottery grant of just under pounds 100,000 for its refurbishment. The space was transformed from a derelict warehouse to a modernist gallery by whitewashing walls, putting down an pounds 11,000 polished- slate floor and installing spotlights for the pictures. Concert Square pulls in a huge number of visitors, many of whom will take in an exhibition and then eat in one of the restaurants.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

    £35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

    Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

    Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
    UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

    39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

    There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
    Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

    Computerised cooking is coming

    From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
    Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

    Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

    The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
    Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

    Education: Football Beyond Borders

    Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
    10 best barbecue books

    Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

    We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
    Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most