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An Amazing New Architecture Centre Is Changing the Face of Liverpool

Picture of Charlotte Luxford
Home & Design Editor
Updated: 14 June 2017
The long-awaited ‘national architecture centre in the North’ will open this summer, and is set to be the jewel in the crown of Mann Island – the award-winning waterfront development that has helped reconnect the UNESCO World Heritage Site to the heart of Liverpool.
© Edmund Sumner

The brainchild of architecture firm Broadway Malyan, who also completed the rest of the waterfront development, RIBA North will open its doors to the public on June 17 as a destination venue that will ‘explore the enormous impact that architecture and design has on our lives,’ according to RIBA president Jane Duncan.

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© Hufton Crow

She continued: ‘We are particularly proud to strengthen our cultural and creative offering in the north of England… At RIBA North, we have a building with museum conditions that will offer a magnificent opportunity to view RIBA’s world-renowned historic collections showing hundreds of years of the UK’s extraordinary architectural history.’

© Hufton Crow

The building is designed to be a hub for both architecture professionals and architecture fans, where a whole host of exhibitions, talks and tours will take place throughout the year.

© Walter Menzies

At the heart of the building, however, is the City Gallery, which is dedicated to Liverpool’s fascinating history, as well as its present-day landscape and plans for urban development in the future.

© RIBA

As well as the permanent City Gallery display, there will be a range of temporary exhibitions – the debut exhibit entitled ‘Liverpool(e): Mover, Shaker, Architectural Risk-Taker’, celebrates Liverpool’s boldest and most audacious projects, exploring how the city has long been associated with architectural ambition and drama. It will be on display until September.

© RIBA

You’ll also be able to delve into RIBA’s rich historical archives which include drawings, photographs and prints – some of which date back to the 15th century. Highlights include Sir Denys Lasdun’s radical plan for the Catholic Cathedral site, plus Graeme Shankland’s dramatic vision for Liverpool’s skyline back in the 60s, when two thirds of its buildings were declared obsolete.

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Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said: ‘We’re proud of our heritage in the city, which is why we have focused on bringing so much of it back to life, and I have high hopes that the RIBA’s presence in the city will increase opportunities to work with other cities across the Northern Powerhouse.’

© Edmund Sumner

For more information the RIBA North, or the exhibitions, click here.

© McCoy Wynne