One of LJMU’s most iconic buildings is to be renamed in memory of John Lennon, a former student at the University.
The RIBA-award winning building, which has been known informally as the Art and Design Academy, is home to over 1,000 students in art and design, and will be named the John Lennon Art and Design Building.
The building was completed in 2008 and quickly became one of the city’s landmark locations. Sitting directly in front of the Catholic Cathedral, its serpentine shape and landscaped grounds have become a recognisable feature in the Knowledge Quarter of the city.
The John Lennon Art and Design Building is fittingly located just down the road from where he studied at 68 Hope Street – the University has been using the old building for different academic disciplines but is finally vacating the site this summer.
Yoko Ono was been involved in the development of the building from the start. In 2006, as work was about to commence on site, she was a guest of the University at a profile raising event in New York, hosted by former LJMU Chancellor, Cherie Blair.
In addition to supporting the School of Art and Design and the Academy, Yoko has been instrumental in helping the University establish its John Lennon Imagine Awards to support students who have been in local authority care or who are estranged from their parents.
Yoko Ono comments: “John studied at the University when it was the College of Art and it provided the springboard for so many influential aspects of his life. When the University approached me about naming the building after John I was so touched. I was there when the building was planned and have watched its progress with great interest. It is an enormously fitting tribute to John and our shared connections with LJMU.”
The signage for the building will feature the distinctive self-penned line drawing of John Lennon that has become so well known for its use on the John Lennon Airport and the newly released John Lennon Educational tour bus.
Curtis Reid, President of the LJMU students union comments: “This is just fantastic. John Lennon was a student at this University, he was one of us and he is such an inspiration. Now, future generations of students will know that they are following in his footsteps – it’s really exciting.”
The signage for the building will be put in place over the summer months ready for the start of the new academic year in September.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Nigel Weatherill said: “I’m delighted and personally grateful to Yoko Ono for allowing us to name the building after John Lennon. It’s a tribute not just to John Lennon and all that he achieved but also to Yoko who is so committed to John’s hometown and inspiring the young people who live and study here to achieve their dreams. We are extremely thankful for all the support she has shown the University and our students over the years.”