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Glasgow Riverside Museum of Transport

  • Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 2004 – 2011
  • Glasgow City Council
  • Built
  • 11,000m2
  • Exhibition Area: 7,000m²
  • Site Area: 22,400m²
  • Footprint Area: 7,800m²

The museum, a sectional extrusion open at both ends, its outline encapsulating a wave or pleat, flows from city to waterfront, symbolizing dynamic relationship between Glasgow and the ship-building, seafaring and industrial legacy of the river Clyde. Clear glass facades allow light to flood through the main exhibition space.

The historical development of the city of Glasgow and the ship-building, seafaring and industrial waterfront along the river Clyde, gives both a unique shared legacy. Situated where the city meets river, ‘flowing’ between the two in a symbolic representation of their dynamic relationship, the museum places itself in the very roots of its origins – establishing a clear connection between its exhibits and their wider context.

The building, conceived as a sectional extrusion open at both ends, its cross-sectional outline encapsulating a wave or pleat,  faces Glasgow and the Clyde, becoming porous to its context on both sides. However, this connection is not direct, but instead diverted to create a journey into the exhibition spaces contained. In every sense, the interior path through the space becomes a mediator between city and river, which can be both hermetic or porous as required.

Circulation is through the main, open and column-free exhibition space, from which views outward allow visitors to build up a gradual sense of their external context. At the structure’s end point, the café  and corporate entertainment space offers views over the confluence of the river Kelvin and the Clyde, with access to a landscaped open courtyard. Front and rear elevations are marked by their clear glass facades, both allowing expansive views over the surrounding river landscape.

Ringed stones create a shadow path around the building, moving visitors from hard surfaces to a softer landscape of grass, creating an informal space. Lined trees along the existing ferry quay reduce exposure to prevailing winds, while shallow pools along the museum’s south and east sides create a seamless continuity with the river.

Architect

Zaha Hadid Architects

Design

Zaha Hadid Architects

Project Director

Jim Heverin

Project Architect

Johannes Hofmann

Project Team

Achim Gergen, Agnes Koltay, Alasdair Graham, Andreas Helgesson, Andy Summers, Aris Giorgiadis, Brandon Buck, Christina Beaumont, Chun Chiu, Claudia Wulf, Daniel Baerlaecken, Des Fagan, Electra Mikelides, Elke Presser, Gemma Douglas, Hinki Kwon, Jieun Lee, Johannes Hoffmann, Laymon Thaung, Liat Muller, Lole Mate, Malca Mizrahi, Markus Planteu, Matthias Frei, Michael Mader, Mikel Bennett, Ming Cheong, Naomi Fritz, Rebecca Haines-Gadd, Thomas Hale, Tyen Masten

Competition Team

Malca Mizrahi, Michele Pasca di Magliano, Viviana R. Muscettola, Mariana Ibanez, Larissa Henke

Services

Buro Happold (Glasgow, UK)

Acoustic

Buro Happold (Bath, UK)

Fire

FEDRA, (Glasgow, UK)

Cost / Project Management

Capita Symonds