21st May 2019

A trio of companies have been appointed to develop a decade long masterplan to substantial upgrade assets across National Museums Liverpool’s estate.

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Planit-IE, and Arup have been tasked with drawing up a new vision for growth, focusing on National Museums Liverpool’s holdings on the city’s waterfront.

Working with development consultant Fourth Street and museum consultant Andrea Nixon, the masterplan will include finding new uses for the Pilotage, Great Western Railway Buliding, Piermaster’s House, and the Cooperage and Mermaid House, as well as rethinking the Canning Graving Docks.

The Pilotage building was formerly home to the Museum of Liverpool Life, which closed in 2006, while the Piermaster’s House is currently a World War Two-themed home open to the public. Mermaid House is part of the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

Some of the land and buildings around the museum are currently under-utilised, and the masterplan will look at development and public realm to improve visitor experience and engagement, wayfinding, educational and curational requirements, commercial activities, and sustainability.

There will also be some minor rearrangements of the ground floor of the 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.

Any new developments will be agreed with Historic England and UNESCO before proceeding, given the area’s UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Geoff Rich, partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, 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.”

Mairi Johnson, director of estates for National Museums Liverpool added:

“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.”

The procurement of a masterplanner started in March, and 26 teams entered.