Attractions industry news

07 Jul 2022

David Adjaye and Ralph Appelbaum selected for £57m International Slavery Museum and Maritime Museum project

Adjaye Associates and Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) have been named as the preferred bidders to lead the design of a £57m redevelopment of the International Slavery Museum and Maritime Museum in Liverpool, UK.

National Museums Liverpool (NML) picked the two design firms for the project which will see the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building become a prominent new entrance to the International Slavery Museum.

According to NML, the work will create not only improved visitor orientation and a "more inspiring welcome", but also a stronger sense of purpose and identity for the museum.

Elsewhere, the existing Hartley Pavilion is to benefit from improved circulation for visitors with enhanced commercial facilities, including a shop, café events spaces and a dynamic temporary exhibition space.

Adjaye Associates has been appointed to lead the architectural design, while Ralph Appelbaum Associates will be responsible for the exhibition design.

The aim of the development is to elevate the collections and to amplify the stories of both the International Slavery Museum and the Maritime Museum.

ir David Adjaye OBE said: "I am deeply humbled to lead the renovation of the National Museums Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum and Maritime Museum.

"This project presents us with an opportunity to reimagine the historic fabric of this Grade 1 Listed Building and to reposition it within the powerful context of Liverpool’s Waterfront and its relationship to the transatlantic slave trade.”

Phillip Tefft, Director of RAA's London studio, added: “RAA is honoured and delighted to be appointed for this critical and timely project, which is among the most significant we have ever undertaken.

"We eagerly anticipate collaborating with National Museums Liverpool, the wider project team and the local community in an inclusive co-production process that places the descendants of people impacted by Liverpool’s maritime history at the heart of the conversation and emerging museum experience.

"Together, we will honour Liverpool’s Waterfront as a sacred ground – a place that reverberates with the sights, sounds and souls of all those connected to its global history.”

The project is being supported by a grant of £9.9m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Laura Pye, Director of National Museums Liverpool, said: “To be bringing two such visionary designers with international reputations to the project represents the bold ambition and thinking behind it. We are delighted they’re keen to embrace this as a co-production project which we feel will create something truly ground-breaking.

“There has never been a more important time to address the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade and the redevelopment of the International Slavery Museum symbolises our, and our region’s commitment to confronting the significant role the city played in British imperialism.

“Alongside the revitalisation of the Maritime Museum, which will bring a renewed focus on Liverpool’s rich maritime history and communities, and the wider Canning Dock development, the project will, create a holistic exploration of the heritage of the Liverpool waterfront, as well as a world-class visitor experience.”

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