National Museums Liverpool Waterfront Masterplan Competition won by FCBStudios

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios has been selected to lead a multidisciplinary team in masterplanning an ambitious regeneration project to rethink National Museums Liverpool’s historic Waterfront Campus.


The team will draw up a 10-year strategy to upgrade the historic maritime quarter, which is home to a cluster of landmark museums, at the heart of Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

National Museum Liverpool’s vision is to maximise use of the wonderful eighteenth century dockland, including the Grade-II listed Canning Graving Docks, to create an outstanding visitor destination that connects Liverpool’s stunning waterfront with the city, the River Mersey and the significant historic buildings and spaces.

Geoff Rich, Partner at FCBStudios said “This is a great commission for a site at the physical, historical and emotional heart of Liverpool. Working in partnership with National Museums Liverpool, and in consultation with Tate, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, Liverpool City Council, Canal and River Trust and other important neighbouring stakeholders, we are looking forward to creating a strong connected vision for the waterfront site as a whole to make the most of the historic location, public spaces and the National Museums Liverpool’s buildings, for a range of sustainable and engaging activities.”

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The masterplanning project will steer developments and allow National Museums Liverpool to deliver their strategic aims over the next ten years. Some of the land and buildings surrounding the museums are currently under-utilised, and have great potential. The masterplan will examine the site to devise the best plan for developments to improve visitor experience and engagement; sustainability; display of collections; wayfinding and public realm; educational and curatorial requirements; and commercial activities.

Mairi Johnson, Director of Estates for National Museums Liverpool said “Liverpool’s waterfront is not only a beautiful space but also one of huge historic significance to the city, the wider region and the rest of the UK. This is an exciting opportunity to create spaces for visitors to linger within this unique setting and to really engage with the spirit of the place. We look forward to working with FCBStudios in transforming and pushing the boundaries of this public space.”

Key ambitions also include a series of minor rearrangements of the ground floor of the 2011 Museum of Liverpool and redistributing some of the uses within the nearby Merseyside Maritime Museum which also hosts the International Slavery Museum and the Border Force’s National Museum. Other planned changes could include finding new uses for the Pilotage, Great Western Railway Building, Piermaster’s House, Cooperage and Mermaid House and rethinking the Canning Graving Docks. Any new developments would be agreed with Historic England and UNESCO before proceeding.

FCBStudios are leading a multidisciplinary team with Planit IE, Fourth Street, Standard Practice, Arup and museum consultant Andrea Nixon. 26 teams entered the competition, with six taken to interview.

The team will draw up a 10-year strategy to upgrade the historic maritime quarter, which is home to a cluster of landmark museums, at the heart of Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

National Museum Liverpool’s vision is to maximise use of the wonderful eighteenth century dockland, including the Grade-II listed Canning Graving Docks, to create an outstanding visitor destination that connects Liverpool’s stunning waterfront with the city, the River Mersey and the significant historic buildings and spaces. 

Geoff Rich, Partner at FCBStudios said “This is a great commission for a site at the physical, historical and emotional heart of Liverpool. Working in partnership with National Museums Liverpool, and in consultation with Tate, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, Liverpool City Council, Canal and River Trust and other important neighbouring stakeholders, we are looking forward to creating a strong connected vision for the waterfront site as a whole to make the most of the historic location, public spaces and the National Museums Liverpool’s buildings, for a range of sustainable and engaging activities.”

The masterplanning project will steer developments and allow National Museums Liverpool to deliver their strategic aims over the next ten years. Some of the land and buildings surrounding the museums are currently under-utilised, and have great potential. The masterplan will examine the site to devise the best plan for developments to improve visitor experience and engagement; sustainability; display of collections; wayfinding and public realm; educational and curatorial requirements; and commercial activities.

Mairi Johnson, Director of Estates for National Museums Liverpool said “Liverpool’s waterfront is not only a beautiful space but also one of huge historic significance to the city, the wider region and the rest of the UK. This is an exciting opportunity to create spaces for visitors to linger within this unique setting and to really engage with the spirit of the place. We look forward to working with FCBStudios in transforming and pushing the boundaries of this public space.”

Key ambitions also include a series of minor rearrangements of the ground floor of the 2011 Museum of Liverpool and redistributing some of the uses within the nearby Merseyside Maritime Museum which also hosts the International Slavery Museum and the Border Force’s National Museum. Other planned changes could include finding new uses for the Pilotage, Great Western Railway Building, Piermaster’s House, Cooperage and Mermaid House and rethinking the Canning Graving Docks. Any new developments would be agreed with Historic England and UNESCO before proceeding.

FCBStudios are leading a multidisciplinary team with Planit IE, Fourth Street, Standard Practice, Arup and museum consultant Andrea Nixon. 26 teams entered the competition, with six taken to interview.

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