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RIBA's long-awaited northern base to open this summer

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The RIBA’s latest architecture centre in Liverpool, RIBA North, will open in August - two years later than first planned  

Billed as a ’new cultural destination’, the exhibition and events space in Broadway Malyan’s Mann Island development on the city’s waterfront had been earmarked for completion in April 2014, according to former RIBA president Stephen Hodder.

The RIBA said the delay to the centre, which will also become the base for the RIBA’s North West office, had been caused by ‘many factors’ including the prioritisation of schemes in London.

A spokeswoman for the institute said: ’This is the result of many factors, including the resourcing of other significant construction projects including the new RIBA Architecture Gallery at 66 Portland Place and our new offices at 76 Portland Place.

’There were one or two issues with the sourcing of building materials and final finishes’

’As is common with many building projects, there have been a few delays, for example at the start of the build in agreeing contractors proposals and one or two issues with the sourcing of building materials and final finishes.’

She added: ’We are now in the final stages of delivering this project and looking forward to opening it this summer. The result will be a fantastic architecture centre, complete with a museum-conditions gallery - and a new home for RIBA’s North West office - that will make a brilliant contribution to Liverpool.’

The new cultural destination will, says the RIBA, ’offer perspectives on the built environment to architecture and design enthusiasts, families, students and professionals’.

The centre in the black faceted block, which won an RIBA North West Award for architecture in 2015, will open with a new exhibition Liverpool(e): Mover, Shaker, Architecture Risk Taker showcasing designs for Liverpool that were never realised.

Among the drawings, models and watercolours from the RIBA Collections, the exhibition includes unbuilt proposals for the city’s Anglican Cathedral by Charles Nicholson and Philip Webb; a radical scheme by Denys Lasdun from 1959 for the Catholic Cathedral site and ’a bold vision for a new skyline’ by Graeme Shankland from the 1960s after two-thirds of the city’s buildings were declared to be obsolete.

The exhibition is curated by Joseph Sharples, the author of the Pevsner Guide to Liverpool.

RIBA President Jane Duncan said: ’We’re thrilled to announce that RIBA North will open in Liverpool this summer. By opening a new national architecture centre in the north, RIBA is affirming our commitment to strengthening our cultural and creative offering across the UK, giving opportunities for many more people to explore the enormous impact that architecture and design has on our lives.

’The new exhibition gallery, with museum conditions, will offer a magnificent opportunity to display RIBA’s historic collections, telling hundreds of years of the UK’s extraordinary architectural history.’

Competition design for Roman Catholic Cathedral  Denys Lasdun 1959

Competition design for Roman Catholic Cathedral Denys Lasdun 1959

Source: Image courtesy of the RIBA collections

Competition design for Roman Catholic Cathedral Denys Lasdun 1959


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