The Museum of Liverpool and the surrounding spaces are designed not only to celebrate the history of Liverpool, but also the people living in the city today and in the years to come. Therefore this museum and its immediate surroundings are also an inviting public space that encourages visitors and liverpudlians to meet and experience their city in new ways. Hence, The Museum of Liverpool symbolizes both the past and the future of Liverpool in this way adding new meaning to the concept of a city museum.
Located at the UNESCO World Heritage Site between the Albert Dock and the Pier Head, and next to a row of prominent historic buildings dubbed ‘The Three Graces’ the Museum of Liverpool is conceived as inclined or elevated platforms, gradually forming a sculptural structure. Fully accessible it will contribute to the public promenade flow along the Docks and will be visible from both the river and the city.
The museum is thoughtfully designed to fit in with the many distinctive buildings along the waterfront promenade. It was Liverpool’s ambition that the new museum should contribute to the revitalisation of the old industrial quarter, increase the city’s urban historical awareness, awareness of self and sense of identity. Therefore the building represents a visual, physical mediation between city and museum, drawing in the city as the backdrop to the collections.
The building was designed based on studies of movement and flow. This increases the quality and feel of its internal infrastructure and its usefulness as a spontaneous meeting place as well as a general extension of the promenade. The result is a museum that lends itself as a natural connector, slotting itself in as an extension of the main flows through the area; a physical bridge with 360° exposure and huge glass gables that serve both as orientation points and city perspectives.
In order for the museum’s design to enter into an idiomatic dialogue with its surroundings, its modern facade has been given an abstract, sophisticated expression. 3XN intends the new museum to bow respectfully to its historical surroundings – yet to initiate a dynamic dialogue with these very surroundings, thereby contributing to making the area a vibrant, present day recreational, urban environment.
The nexus of the building, the central staircase is crucial to the museum, and during the design process it was studied thoroughly in sketches, 3-D renders, and in physical models. The atrium serves as a public ‘living room’ as well as entrance lobby, providing connection to the exhibition spaces which are dispersed around it.
The new Museum of Liverpool ambitions to become the World’s leading city history museum, showcasing social history and popular culture and will look at Britain and the world through the eyes of Liverpool. It is estimated that the new museum will attract at least 750,000 visitors on a yearly basis, and that Liverpool, with the Museum as a symbol of the Liverpool’s ongoing regeneration, will be elevated into the front rank of European tourist destinations, as well as providing a brilliant place for local families to find out about their own history.
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