Textured Museum of Liverpool opens 19th July on the edge of the River Mersey
Described by 3XN’s Creative Director as ‘one of the largest and most prestigious projects to emerge from the 3XN studio’, the freshly completed Museum of Liverpool is the largest National Museum to be built in the UK in the last 200 years. At 13,000 sq m, the angular form slots comfortably into the thriving promenade on the River Mersey, connecting the Harbour promenade with the Albert Dock.
Over the years the city of Liverpool has become known for many things: the sporting abilities of Liverpool and Everton football clubs, the industrial trades down on the docks, and the musical legends the Beatles. 3XN have taken inspiration from the waterside location of the new museum and run with the theme of the local trading ships, working the surrounding industry into the scheme through a selection of gigantic gabled windows.
Kim Herforth Nielsen, Creative Director at 3XN and Project Architect clarifies: “This Museum connects the city together on many levels – physically, socially and architecturally. The idea of creating a Museum as a nexus in both physical and symbolic expression has been central from the start. I am very satisfied to see that this ideal is carried out to the full in the completed structure.”
Central to this inclusive structure is a sculptural staircase – a design choice that fans of 3XN’s work may recognise as a characteristic trait of the practice. The spiralling form is situated in the cavernous atrium into which new visitors will enter, and is regarded by Nielsen as conversation generator. He argues that ‘people speak together when they walk together up or down a staircase’, noting that the gently curving form can eliminate the need for long corridors and optimise spatial efficiency.