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Museum of Liverpool by 3XN and AEW Architects

These are the latest shots of the Museum of Liverpool, which is nearing completion on the city’s historic waterfront

The high-profile £68 million X-shaped building next to Liverpool’s famous Three Graces was originally designed by Danish practice 3XN -however the scheme has been delivered by Manchester-based AEW Architects following a fallout between the museum and the Danes in late 2007.

Previous news from this project

First look: Museum of Liverpool (25 February 2009)

The AJ can exclusively reveal these shots of the soon-to-be-completed Museum of Liverpool on the city’s waterfront

The controversial £68 million X-shaped building next to Liverpool’s famous Three Graces was originally designed by Danish practice 3XN. However, the Danes left the project in late 2007 after falling out with the client, and the scheme has since been delivered by Manchester-based AEW Architects, the former executive architects.

Although the shell of the new building is expected to be complete by the end of March, the museum will not officially open to the public until next year.

3XN explain on their website how the design evolved.

Readers' comments (8)

  • I notice that 3XN dont explain on thier website how they were sacked of course.
    It is a real shame that AJ themselves dont show it in the wider context of how it has blighted Liverpools World Heritage site and how it was funded by the NWDA by sale of the adjacent land to build three black granite monsters taking out the best views of Liverpool for its inhabitants.
    If you were to build in front of the Taj Mahal or the Pyramids imagine the world outrage.
    And how the Manchester dock intact that predated the Albert Dock by 60 years was destroyed to make way for this Oscar Nemeyer copy.
    You couldnt make this up.
    Wayne Colquhoun
    LIVERPOOL PRESERVATION TRUST

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  • I agree with every word Wayne says. The waterfront is now a cluttered mess. This monstrosity blocks views from out of the Albert Dock, and alongside the Mann Island granite lumps and the new ferry terminal, this is eyewateringly cr*p planning and design. World Heritage Site? Preserving the setting of listed buildings? Conservation Area? Is Liverpool Council having a laugh? Well yes of course it is. It must be. Nobody can be this stupid and be serious.

    Don't go there folks, there's nothing worth seeing in Liverpool now, you will be deeply disappointed at the joke that Liverpool now is. That's unless you like being deeply depressed, and third rate architecture with no coherent thinking behind it sticking up at odd angles behind, in front, and alongside buildings of real merit from the past, for which Liverpool was rightly famous.

    What a shocker.

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  • Whilst we are looking at this, how about publishing a picture of the adjacent Mersey ferry terminal, built in a similar style (sic) to the egg box museum. Liverpool's historic waterfront is well and truly mangled. Quite honestly, if UNESCO will stand for this in one of their RECENTLY AWARDED World Heritage Sites, then there is little hope for WHS elsewhere.
    The design of the new museum is simply appalling and out of place, a disgrace to the city's once-elegant waterfront.

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  • Lordy, those are some extreme views. How about some balance.

    I actually like the new museum in white and the blocks in black granite. I think it combines well being modern and slotting in. It reminds me of some of the work in Copenhagen where they manage to contrast new and old very well. The canal link that passes under it is also an impressive feat. Many in Liverpook share this view. We have some good old buildings in the city but need some new good ones.

    I'd also be wary of Wayne Colquhoun's views. He's a self-appointed heritage extremist in the mould of Prince Charles. Be nothing new built in the city if it was up to him.

    As for: "Don't go there folks, there's nothing worth seeing in Liverpool now, you will be deeply disappointed at the joke that Liverpool now is."

    Erm actually, it's probably better to visit now than anytime since the 60s. I've been here my entire life and believe me, everything is better than it was in the 80s and 90s. Yes, lots of rubbish apartment blocks got thrown up in the boom, but I think that what pretty much a national phenomenon wasn't it?

    Some good new buildings have been built too. Even if you don't like the Museum, check out FACT, the Bluecoat extension, waterfront arena, some good new university buildings. Nothing I'd say that's going to change the world, but good buildings for a city like ours that has been in the doldrums for so long. The Liverpool 1 masterplan is also astounding in its compexity, and contains lots of previously decaying old buildings which have been extensively restored at great cost by the developers even though they were not listed.

    However, I agree. The new ferry terminal is pretty ugly. It was rushed through, you see, to get the free money from the EU which was on some sort of time limit. Still, I've seen worse.

    The waterfront wasn't perfect beforehand either, misty eyed folks. The whole thing was a bus station till the 80s. Remember that in your selective memory? How about the constantly manky grass so beloved of graffti-fond goths? Or the old floating roadway dock filled with stinking mud? How about the abandoned Road Range car showroom where the museum is being built? All clearly helped us win the Heritage Site bid I'm sure.

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  • I wouldn't visit again. It's grim, especially the waterfront, which could have been so much better than it is, with the disconnected second rate clutter gradually enclosing buidings of historic interest. I think those seeking 'balance' are possibly blinkered, or devoid of any sense of how bad it is.

    There's an awful lot of rubbish been thrown up in Liverpool recently, and it's still happening. Personally, I think World Heritage Site status is a joke, when Liverpool is compared now with Bath and Edinburgh.

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  • In response to comments by Kenn Taylor - as a matter of fact, the "abandoned" Road Range building was never thus. He is referring to the Voss Motors building, at one time inspected by English Heritage with a view to giving it listed status. Unfortunately, interior modifications made this impossible. However, it was still a fine building with architectural merit. The Mercedes Benz dealership (Road Range) made use of its second floor area for galleries and exhibitions, and the building had a cavernous basement suitabe for use as museum or gallery space. Road Range were moved out to make way for Neptune's black granite apartment blocks, NOT the X Museum. I know this having been a Road Range customer for many years until their removal. So please, let's not rewrite history. By the way, my objections to the dog's dinner that is now Mann Island remain. What a mess.

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  • I have to agree with Mr Taylor. As a life-long resident of Liverpool (27 years), recent developments in the city, and specifically around the Three Graces, have vastly improved the area. Having worked in the city centre since my graduation, and for 18 months in the Port of Liverpool building and a further two years down down river at Princes Dock, I have spent many-a-dinner hour wondering why the area had become a haven for drunks and unruly teens. The use of the ground before the old ferry terminal during the Mathew Street festival one year, and the month-long clean up operation that followed, demonstrated perfectly the necessity to make use of the area, and I think the local authority - for all their many faults - and those who allowed the current plans to move forward have done a wonderful job. I am concerned by the fact that many people seem to feel this has ruined the WHS, and that it is no longer worth a visit - I find myself wandering down to Mann Island every time I am in the city for work to see what progress has been made, and am never disappointed.

    Liverpool cannot be comared to the Taj Mahal or Pyramids - it is a bustling city, and one the revels in the proximity of magnificent Edwardian and Georgian buildings to innovative and exciting new developments. If it scares visitors away, then that is sincerely a great shame - I for one am delighted to see my city becoming what it is.

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  • Jordan CreativeTimes

    I read on the Guardian's website that a visitor at the opening of the museum described it as two stone twix bars, which I thought was rather visionary! Do you think the architects had this in mind at the planning stage?

    http://www.creativetimes.co.uk/articles/museum-of-liverpool-pier-head

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