Ideas for Huyton: An exhibition of Huyton Village High Street Renewal activations and regenerations by Studio Pen and Inc

Published on

Placards on display in high street

The exhibition, Ideas for Huyton, brings 'home' the high Street visioning projects of BA3 Studio Pen and Inc to Derby Road, Huyton. The students' work was displayed on the street, across the threshold of the venue 'Common', and in the windows of an empty shop unit on Derby Road. The exhibition generated conversations and interests from passers-by about their high street.

Students, staff and partners at launch event

Left to right: Cllr Tony Brennan, James Duncan (KMBC),Tony Lees(LSA) Mike Southern (AE) Mark Bingley (KMBC) Sandy Britton (LSA) Dr Fei Chen (LSA) Luke Cooper (AE)
Photograph by Jonathan Kearney


The launch event in 'Common' was attended by the public, the council and industry professionals creating a forum for discussion and reflection.

STaff, students and stakeholders sitting outside at a street café

Members of exhibition launch and teaching team Studio Pen and Inc

"The students have delivered some fantastic designs and ideas and have clearly taken on board some of the feedback about what residents and visitors want to see. The plans for Huyton Village Centre are really exciting and the Council are keen to explore ideas to make best use of the space."

Cllr Tony Brennan, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development

Students with posters displayed in shop windows

An initiative of Studio Pen and Inc, the studio has worked in collaboration with Architectural Emporium, a Liverpool based chartered practice, Dr Fei Chen from the research group Urban Form and Social Space, and Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council to identify the post-pandemic challenges faced by Huyton and to test design solutions.

In semester 1, students envisioned a micro-plan and a meanwhile proposal for the Signature High Street. Projects provided either a temporary, reusable solution to a current challenge, or acted as an activator to test a specific need or a specific activity.

Two people discussing scheme in front of display screen

In semester 2, after consultation with the public in Huyton through an online survey, students visioned three types of building complex on three high street sites which had the highest development potential. Sherbourne Square was to be a Community Housing-based hub; Mayfair Cinema site an Arts and Culture focussed hub, and the William Hill site a Health and Well-being based hub. All proposals aimed to reuse and renew existing buildings which were significant heritage for Huyton. For stakeholders in Huyton, students' design scenarios provided valuable visions for the high street’s future. For the students, the involvement in a real-life development project proved to be a highly effective learning mechanism. For the researcher, the collaborative process of design-led regeneration offered interesting insights.

"collaboration is essential – a high street should be an eclectic mix of building types and uses and therefore can only benefit from a collection of ideas, rather than a design from a single person or practice."

Luke Cooper Architectural Emporium Ltd

Stakeholder examining scheme using VR goggles

A reflective paper on the collaborative process of design is in the making, and to be presented at the ISUF 2022 Conference. A report of the project and some valuable design recommendations for local design policies will also be produced in July to assist the street’s sustainable and zero carbon development.

This collaboration between Sandy Britton, Fei Chen, Architectural Emporium and the local council has been supported by the Research Development and Initiative Fund of the School of the Arts and the Flexible Impact Fund of the HSS, University of Liverpool.

Sandy Britton LSA Project Producer
Dr Fei Chen LSA (Urban Form and Social Space research group) Project Producer
Luke Cooper Architectural Emporium Collaborator
Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council Collaborator

Download the exhibition poster here

Download the LSA Yearbook extract here


22-29th June 2022 6-8 Derby Road Huyton Village
Launch Event 22 June 2022 Common 24 Derby Road


Launch Speakers
James Duncan (KMBC)
Luke Cooper (AE)
Dr Fei Chen (UoL UFSS)
Samantha Evans Studio Pen and Inc Student (LSA)
Emma Smith Studio Pen and Inc Student (LSA)
Amira Al Najjar Studio Pen and Inc Student (LSA)
Intro: Sandy Britton Studio Pen and Inc Studio lead and senior lecturer (LSA)

Joel Lawson Jennifer Mallen (Avison Young)
Mark Bingley Jonathan Kearney Jonathan Lowe and teams (KMBC)
Cllr Tony Brennan

Exhibition and Event Team
Patrick Allan, Samantha Evans, Xhesika Bicaku, Amira Al Najjar, Nihaad Choudhury, Leontina Frunza, Harvey Munro, Donny Dailyda, Yuan Zhang, Qifeng Hou, Guyu Bao, Molly Fitzpatrick, Emma Smith, Conor Foster, Holly Knight Parfitt, Tony Lees

Studio teaching Team
Sarah Green, Tony Lees, Giles Wheeldon and Stuart Gee

Unless otherwise stated, all pics by Sandy Britton