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Glasgow’s Riverside Museum Unveiled

3 June 2011



The new £74m Riverside Museum in Glasgow has been unveiled for the first time.

Situated on the banks of the River Clyde in the heart of the city’s harbour development, the new museum will reinforce Glasgow's global transport heritage, giving visitors access to more than 3000 exhibits.

Capita Symonds provided project management, CDMC and QS services on the Zaha Hadid designed scheme.

Outside, The Tall Ship Glenlee is moored in front of the museum’s dramatic south façade, bringing her together, for the very first time, with the city’s unrivalled ship model collection, and creating a dramatic and iconic international destination. The Glenlee is one of only five Clyde-built sailing vessels afloat in the world today and the only one in the UK.

The museum’s other major attractions have been designed and built into the structure of the building, with some arriving before the completion of the structure, such is their size. Highlights include the Wall of Cars; the hanging Bicycle Velodrome; a South African Locomotive; No9 Tank Engine; Motorbike Deck; Ship Launch Show; the Rest and Be Thankful; and three re-created period streets.

As well as the old, there are more recent star attractions including Graeme Obree’s hand-made bikes which made him a world-champion, and the late Colin McRae’s Subaru Impreza that he drove to win the World Rally Car Championship.

...Glasgow is a city transformed, from post industrial wasteland, to a global destination for culture and sport. The eyes of the world will be on us in 2014 as we host the Commonwealth Games, but as the Riverside Museum demonstrates, we have more than just our sporting legacy to shout about...

Danny MacAskill became a YouTube sensation after the release of his terrifying video ‘Way Back Home’. At the museum, visitors can see the bike made famous through gravity defying stunts and social media.

The new museum has been funded by Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Riverside Museum Appeal.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow’s history as an industrial giant, a global leader in engineering and shipbuilding, is celebrated in an architectural masterpiece which shows that we remain at the cutting edge of design and technology. On the same spot where ships and paddle steamers were built, the launch of the Riverside Museum is an occasion which both Glasgow and Scotland can be proud of. While we celebrate our past, we are determined to look to the future. Indeed, now there are more people working in Glasgow in culture and tourism than ever worked in the shipyards even at their height.”

“Glasgow is a city transformed, from post industrial wasteland, to a global destination for culture and sport. The eyes of the world will be on us in 2014 as we host the Commonwealth Games, but as the Riverside Museum demonstrates, we have more than just our sporting legacy to shout about.”

More than 1,200 people have worked on the project, since it was given the initial go-ahead in 2002 and work on-site at the historic Pointhouse Quay, began in 2007. The main contractors, BAM, described the building of the massive, 2,500 tonnes steel roof, without any internal supporting columns, as the most challenging engineering feat in the UK today. An additional 3,000 people worked on the various construction contracts to build the museum and quayside public realm.

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund grant to Riverside is the biggest grant we have ever given to a project in Scotland. We recognised the ambition to revitalise an outstanding transport and engineering collection in a way which would breathe new life into both the exhibits and this stretch of the river. The results have surpassed all that we hoped for and I have no doubt that this Heritage Lottery investment will entertain, educate and inspire generations to come.”

The Riverside Museum opens to the public on 21st June.

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Photo (c) Lenny Warren / Warren Media