Attractions industry news

29 May 2018

Architects appointed for Paisley Museum's ambitious £42m transformation project

Architects AL_A have been named as the lead designers for the £42m (US$55.7m, €48m) redevelopment of the Paisley Museum in Scotland.

The transformation of the museum is the flagship project of Renfrewshire Council’s planned £100m (US$132.6m, €114.5m) investment in cultural venues in Paisley and forms the cornerstone of plans to utilise the city's cultural assets to transform its future.

The museum will close in late 2018 and re-open in 2022 as a "revitalised home" for Paisley’s internationally-significant textile heritage and natural history, art and science collections.

The project will include a contemporary addition to the existing Victorian-era building, creating a new entrance and museum spaces – including a cafe and shop – landscaping and significantly-improved access.

There will be major revamps to all four museum buildings including the Coats Observatory, while a complete internal redesign will reimagine the visitor experience and double the number of objects on public display.

Visitor numbers are expected to nearly quadruple from the current 125,000 a year as a result of the redevelopment.

Renfrewshire Council has set aside £24.1m (US$32m, €27.6m) towards the works, with £4.9m (US$6.5m, €5.6m) worth of National Lottery funding also secured.

AL_A was founded by Amanda Levete – a former winner of UK architecture’s top honour, the RIBA Stirling Prize – and the practice's previous work includes the Victoria & Albert Museum Exhibition Road Quarter, for which they this year won the RIBA London Building of the Year 2018.

"This is one of the most radical briefs I have read – it triggered in us a desire to tell the untold history of Paisley and search for a narrative thread that will drive the design," Levete said.

"The project is bigger than the building itself and I am excited to re-imagine the relationship between the street and museum.

"This is not only about finding the way to best show the museum’s collection, it’s also about showing the world how an ambitious cultural project can have a profound impact on a community and its identity."

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