Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool

Date

1 November 2013
Location

Pier Head, Liverpool

SJ 33919 90137; 53.40388°N, 2.99541°W

Information

The Museum of Liverpool, situated on Mann Island between Pier Head and Albert Dock, opened in July 2011 and cost £72m. Its prestigious waterfront location is within the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building itself is 110m long and 60m wide and is of a steel-frame and concrete construction with Jura limestone cladding.

National Museums Liverpool created the new museum to replace the former Museum of Liverpool Life, which closed in 2006, and its aim is to tell the story of the city and its people. The project, however, has been fraught with difficulties.

Liverpool’s iconic waterfront edifices The Three Graces — The Port of Liverpool Building, The Cunard Building and the Royal Liver Building — were completed between 1907 and 1917 and are located at the Pier Head on the River Mersey. The idea of a ‘Fourth Grace’ to house the Museum of Liverpool and intended to feature as the focal point for the 2008 European Capital of Culture festivities was mooted in 2002. The idea was later abandoned though, with Will Alsop’s winning design ‘The Cloud’ being cancelled in 2004 in the face of escalating costs.

In 2005 architects 3XN won the contract to design the new museum. This Danish practice then sub-contracted Manchester-based architects AEW to advise on regulatory matters. 3XN’s contract was, however, terminated in 2007 and AEW subsequently took over the principal role. Since the opening of the museum, National Museums Liverpool have been in dispute with AEW over defects with the building. As of August 2013, AEW had been ordered to pay over £2.3m in damages as a result of serious problems with external steps, terraces and seats and internal ceilings. Part of a ceiling had collapsed not long before the museum opened, and the outside areas of the building are still not accessible to the public.

Museum of Liverpool;
Museum of Liverpool – review (The Guardian, 24 July 2011);
Museum of Liverpool wins £1.2m in legal dispute (Museums Journal)

 

Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool

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9 thoughts on “Museum of Liverpool

  1. Your photos bring out the special features of the building wonderfully. We had a day in Liverpool recently and did the Beatles Museum and then stood back and admired this. I think it has brought some drama and energy to the waterfront…the design problems are inevitable in something that has had several architects and is also “different”. Hill House in Helensburgh has the same problems with it’s design and that was cutting edge at the time it was built. Anyway, your photos are great, and in case you hadn’t noticed, I like the building!

    • I was fascinated by its architecture but found its incongruity with its surroundings somewhat disturbing… but perhaps that it the whole point 😉 Anyway, I was particularly struck by the spiral staircase, despite Mr Guardian Review’s comments about ceiling tiles and Travelodges.

  2. I agree with you about the staircase, I loved it. The museum itself inside is rather frenetic, and suffers from a kind of visual attention defecit, but I don’t think that’s the fault of the building as the reviewer in the Guardian tries to make out. As someone who has to travel about a great deal to visit customers, his comparison with a Travelodge didn’t work…the space has heart and generosity of form, something the Travelodges have in short supply.

  3. Pingback: Vision in Grey | GeoTopoi

  4. Pingback: Museum of Liverpool | GeoTopoi

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