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Competition: Paisley Museum

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Renfrewshire Council is recruiting an architect for a £42 million regeneration of its Category A-listed museum and art gallery

The architect-led multidisciplinary team chosen for the £2 million contract will draw up plans to refurbish and extend the Neoclassical building, which hosts the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls along with many 19th-century Scottish paintings and local history artefacts.

The Paisley Museum Reimagined project, planned to complete in 2022, aims to transform the John Honeyman-designed building into a leading European museum focusing on the historic town and its iconic decorative pattern. The search for a design team comes shortly after Paisley lost out to Coventry in the race to become UK City of Culture 2021.

According to the brief, the winning team ’will be responsible for designing a High Street-facing extension to deliver a bold new café, shop and reception, to resolve the current building’s problematic vertical circulation, remove accretions and reinstate public areas, renew the services and refurbish the buildings.

‘The refurbished and extended museum cannot be a modest municipal makeover and will have to punch above its weight in order to attract visitors from further afield whilst maintaining a sense of ownership for the local communities and to do justice to Paisley’s radical reputation. The project represents an exciting opportunity to alter and extend a fine Neoclassical building to respond to a unique collection, history and to deliver a fully 21st-century facility that places the visitor at its heart.’

Paisley, 11km south-west of Glasgow, is the largest town in Renfrewshire and home to a 12th-century abbey. The town was a major centre of textile production during the 19th century and gave its name to the iconic Paisley shawl and pattern, which features a teardrop-shaped motif with a curved upper end inspired by Persian designs.

Paisley Museum and Art Galleries was a gift to the town from local industrialist Peter Coats. The 1871 complex also includes a library and observatory.

The latest project will extend, renovate and refurbish the historic museum and art gallery, which aims to become a major visitor destination and a new centre for learning, skills development, innovation and research.

Planned improvements include a ‘bold new café, shop and reception’ fronting Paisley High Street along with new public areas and upgraded internal circulation. Bids will be evaluated 80 per cent on quality and 20 per cent on cost.

The deadline for applications is midday, 17 January.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Euan Walker
Renfrewshire Council
Renfrewshire House
Cotton Street

Tel: +44 14161867791
Email: euan.walker@renfrewshire.gov.uk


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