There’s plenty going on in Glasgow over the summer months (and we’ll tell you all about it on this blog) but one of the biggest events of 2011 has to be the opening of the new Riverside Museum next month (June 21).
Set to house the former Transport Museum – and a lot more – the venue has been described as a ‘display of the city’s rich industrial heritage.’ Part of that heritage is, of course, Glasgow’s famous shipbuilding industry so it’s only fitting that the building will sit opposite the former Govan Dockyards. Meanwhile, marooned alongside the building is the Glenlee – one of the last Clyde-built Tall Ships.
The £75 million venture, designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid, will feature a whole set of new exhibits such as three recreated streets dating from 1890 to 1990 and a film of a WW2 subway carriage. Around £5 million of the total has been raised by the people of Glasgow themselves under an Appeal banner. The project itself has been nine years from conception to opening.
Exhibitors say there’ll be twice as many objects on show as before, many of which will feature interactive displays.
Project manager Lawrence Fitzgerald explained the thinking behind the new exhibition when he said: “One of the best ways to explain transport is to tell the stories of the people who use it. By understanding how cities work and how they change, for example, we understand how transport itself evolves with them.
“We have one display called ‘Tram Dancing’, which explains how people would use trams to get to the Barrowlands to go dancing on Saturday nights in the 1940s and 50s – not just how they got there, but what they would wear etc.”
A waterfront cafe (complete with outdoor sun terrace) and outside skateboarding plaza large enough to host concerts completes the visitor appeal. And there’s certainly going to be plenty to accommodate with organisers expecting 800,000 a year! The previous Transport Museum played host to around 500,000 annually.
It’s been described as modern and ambitious with the actual building boasting a corrugated roof and double S design at its entrance to represent ocean waves.
The project has been funded by Glasgow City Council and Heritage Lottery with a contribution from Glasgow Harbour as well as the People’s Appeal.
Even better – local business and events companies will be able to hire out parts of the building, providing a form of income in these post-recessionary times.