Appreciation towards Zaha Hadid Architects for providing the following description:
Photo© Hawkeye Aerial Photography, Hufton + Crow，Zaha Hadid Architects
2004 – 2011
PROGRAM: Exhibition space, cafe, retail, education
CLIENT: Glasgow City Council
ARCHITECT: Design Zaha Hadid Architects
Project Director Jim Heverin
Project Architect Johannes Hoffmann
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
CONSULTANTS: Services Buro Happold [Glasgow, UK]
Acoustics Buro Happold [Bath, UK]
Fire Safety FEDRA, Glasgow
Cost Consultants Capita Symonds
Project Management Capita Symonds
SIZE/AREA : Gross floor area 11,300 m2 (excluding basement)
Exhibition Area 6600 m2 (including public areas and café)
Site Area 22,400 m2
Footprint Area 7,800 m2
MATERIALS: Steel Frame
Corrugated Metal Decking
Glass-reinforced gypsum interior surfaces
Summer 2004 Invited competition to design new Transport Museum at the Clyde/ Kelvin promontory
Autumn 2004 Zaha Hadid Architects win contract
May 2006 Tender to establish main contractor
September 2007 Award of contract to BAM
November 2007 Start of advanced contract works
February 2007 Start of main contract works
December 2010 Practical completion
21 June 2011 Public opening
city of Glasgow is a unique legacy. Located where the Kelvin joins the Clyde, the museum’s
design flows from the city to the river; symbolizing a dynamic relationship where the museum is
the voice of both, connecting the city to the river and also the transition from one to the other.
The museum is situated in very context of its origins, with its design actively encouraging
connectivity between the exhibits and the wider environment.
The building, open at opposite ends, has a tunnel-like configuration between the city and the
Clyde. However, within this connection between the city and river, the building diverts to create a
journey away from its external context into the world of the exhibits. Here, the internal path within
the museum becomes a mediator between city and river, which can either be hermetic or porous
depending on the exhibition layout. Thus, the museum positions itself symbolically and
functionally as open and fluid, engaging its context and content to ensure it is profoundly
interlinked with not only Glasgow’s history, but also its future. Visitors build up a gradual sense of
the external context as they move through the museum from exhibit to exhibit.
The design is a sectional extrusion, open at opposing ends along a diverted linear path. This
cross-sectional outline could be seen as a cityscape and is a responsive gesture to encapsulate
a waves on water. The outer waves or ‘pleats’ are enclosed to accommodate support services
and the ‘black box’ exhibits. This leaves the main central space column-free and open, offering
greatest flexibility to exhibit the museum’s world-class collection.
Zaha Hadid says: “Through architecture, we can investigate future possibilities yet also explore
the cultural foundations that have defined the city.
The Riverside Museum is a fantastic and truly unique project where the exhibits and building
come together at this prominent and historic location on the Clyde to enthuse and inspire all
visitors. The design, combining geometric complexity with structural ingenuity and material
authenticity, continues Glasgow’s rich engineering traditions and will be a part of the city’s future
as a centre of innovation.”
It stands as a shining beacon of architectural and engineering innovation on the banks of the
River Clyde. The Riverside Museum is Glasgow’s newest visitor attraction, home to the transport,
engineering and shipbuilding legacy that made Glasgow great.
The Riverside Museum is an architectural masterpiece, designed by Zaha Hadid, arguably the
world’s most in-demand architect. The £74 million museum is Hadid’s first major public
commission to open in the UK. It houses more than 3,000 exhibits, in over 150 interactive displays
telling the stories of the people who made the term ‘Clyde Built’ one which travelled the world and
spoke volumes about unbeatable quality. From massive steam locomotives, to the recreation of a
city street during the 1900s, the cathedral-like structure provides a stunning backdrop to
showcase the innovation and ambition of what was the ‘Second City of the Empire’.
The Riverside Museum opens to the public on 21 June. It has been funded by Glasgow City
Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Riverside Museum Appeal. Like all of Glasgow’s 10
civic museums, entry is free.
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.
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
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
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 museum reveals the rich and varied stories of Glasgow’s great achievements and vibrant
spirit; of technological breakthroughs and heartbreaking tragedies; of local heroes and global
giants. Many of these tales are told through audiovisual displays, hands-on interactive and digital
touch screens. The displays will be accessible and many are designed to engage children and
young people and to give a better experience for disabled visitors.
The museum’s 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, South African Locomotive, No9 Tank Engine,
Motorbike Deck, Ship Launch Show, the Rest and Be Thankful, and three re-created period
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. 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.
sponsorship and donations from companies, trusts and individuals for the development of the
new Riverside Museum. To date, it has raised around £4.5 million, during one of the worst
economic downturns in recent memory.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chair of the Appeal, said: “I want to thank the trustees, our patrons,
companies, trusts and the many thousands of individuals who have all contributed to this
outstanding celebration of Glasgow’s great industrial and engineering history.
“Every penny raised by the Appeal has been spent on creating what I believe will fast become
one of the UK’s leading visitor attractions, but more importantly, a place where children can be
inspired by the skills and talents which made Glasgow a global great.”
Lord Smith, added: “You can still donate to the Appeal and every person who donates will have
their contribution marked forever within the museum.”
The Tall Ship Glenlee has undergone a £1.5 million refit prior to the move to Riverside, which
included the creation of new visitor displays. Dr Christopher Mason, Chairman of the Clyde
Maritime Trust, said: “The Tall Ship will open at Pointhouse Quay on 21 June and will be exhibited
permanently alongside the new Riverside Museum. The ship will be a perfect complement both to
Zaha Hadid’s building and the collections displayed inside it.”
British-Iraqi architect was appointed by the city in 2004 to design what has already become an
instantly recognisable addition to Glasgow’s skyline. Since then, she has won the RIBA Stirling
Prize and is the only female recipient of the Pritzker Architectural Prize, architecture’s “Nobel
She said: “The history of Glasgow is profoundly interlinked with the history of the Clyde, and
together they have informed the museum’s design. I wanted the building to reflect the importance
of its location and allow for the innovative and inspirational display of its outstanding collection.
The fluid design continues Glasgow’s rich engineering traditions; a true demonstration and
celebration of the skills and passion of local engineers and contractors who helped to bring this
building to life.
“The Riverside Museum rises from Glasgow’s great industrial past to become an integral element
of the modern city which is embracing its future.”