RIBA to open new national architecture centre in Liverpool this summer

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will open a new national architecture centre, RIBA North, in August on the Waterfront in Liverpool. The new centre will offer architecture exhibitions, talks and tours and a new café and shop.

The new cultural destination will offer perspectives on the built environment to architecture and design enthusiasts, families, students and professionals. At its heart is a new gallery, which will host a bold programme of exhibitions and offer the opportunity to view the historic RIBA Collections, the nation’s richest resource of architecture drawings, photographs and prints, dating from the late 15th century to the present day.

RIBA North’s opening exhibition ‘Liverpool(e): Mover, Shaker, Architecture Risk Taker’ will show designs for Liverpool that were never built. As well as offering a vision  of an alternative Liverpool that could have been, they reveal much about the process of the city’s development, and celebrate Liverpool’s long, often maverick, history of architectural ambition,  its willingness to take risks and be open to transformation.

The show will feature drawings, models and watercolours from the RIBA Collections, many of which have never been on display before. They include extraordinary un-built proposals for the city’s Anglican Cathedral by Sir Charles Nicholson and Philip Webb; a radical scheme, by Sir Denys Lasdun from 1959 for the Catholic Cathedral site and a bold vision for a new skyline by Graeme Shankland from the 1960s after two thirds of the city’s buildings were declared to be obsolete. Visitors can watch a newly commissioned film, reflecting on Liverpool’s architectural audacity, its willingness to consider unconventional schemes and how this has resulted in the dramatic and celebrated skyline we see today.

RIBA President Jane Duncan says:

“We’re thrilled to announce that RIBA North will open in Liverpool this summer. By opening a new national architecture centre in the north, RIBA is affirming our commitment to strengthening our cultural and creative offering across the UK, giving opportunities for many more people to explore the enormous impact that architecture and design has on our lives. The new exhibition gallery, with museum conditions, will offer a magnificent opportunity to display RIBA’s historic collections, telling hundreds of years of the UK’s extraordinary architectural history.

The prominent high-footfall location of our new gallery on the Waterfront, next to the Three Graces, the new Museum of Liverpool, Liverpool One and the attractions of the Albert Dock will help us to reach a wide audience. The new facilities, alongside conference and event space, will mean we can offer even greater support to all our members in the region.”

RIBA North is at Mann Island which was designed by Broadway Malyan and won a RIBA North West Award for architecture in 2015.

RIBA is recognised as the leading authority on architecture and the built environment, known for excellence in the promotion of architecture, setting standards, stimulating innovation, sharing knowledge and demonstrating the economic, social and environmental benefits of good architecture.

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