History and museums
The Riverside Museum is a new development for the Glasgow Museum of Transport, completed on 20 June 2011, at Pointhouse Quay in the Glasgow Harbour regeneration district of Glasgow, Scotland. The next day it opened to the public. On 18 May 2013, the museum was announced as the Winner of the 2013 European Museum of the Year Award.
In 2013, the museum had 740,276 visitors during the year.
The Riverside Museum building was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and engineers Buro Happold. The internal exhibitions and displays were designed by Event Communications. Replacing facilities at the city's Kelvin Hall, the new purpose-built museum is the first to be opened in the city since the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art in 1993 and is expected to attract up to 1 million visitors a year. Although containing approximately the same floorspace as the previous museum facility at 7,500 sq m, it creates a more environmentally stable home for Glasgow's significant Transport Technology collections. The building also houses a workshop and office space for the Clyde Maritime Trust.
The location of the museum is on the site of the former A. & J. Inglis Shipyard within Glasgow Harbour, on the north bank of the River Clyde and adjacent to its confluence point with the River Kelvin. This site enables the Clyde Maritime Trust's SV Glenlee and other visiting craft to berth alongside the museum.
Of the £74million needed for the development of the Riverside Museum, Glasgow City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund have committed £69million. The Riverside Museum Appeal is a charitable trust established to raise the final £5,000,000 in sponsorship and donations from companies, trusts and individuals for the development of the museum. The Riverside Museum Appeal Trust is recognised as a Scottish Charity SC 033286.
Major patrons of the project include: BAE Systems Surface Ships, Weir Group, Rolls-Royce plc, FirstGroup, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Caledonian MacBrayne, Arnold Clark, Scottish and Southern Energy, Diageo, Bank of Scotland and Optical Express.
On 13 November 2007 the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Bob Winter cut the first turf. During the summer of 2008, foundational work was carried out, with massive underground trenches created to house the services for the building. By late September 2008, the steel framework of the structure was taking shape. During 2010 the cladding of the building was put in place and internal fitting-out work continued along with external landscaping works. The building was structurally completed by late autumn 2010 and work continued to prepare the Riverside Museum for its opening on 21 June 2011.
The main contractors for the project were BAM Construct UK Ltd with a range of trade subcontractors including the services installations being delivered by BBESL's team of Jordan Kerr, Gordon Ferguson & Jamie Will and FES, project management being the responsibility of Capita Symonds and Buro Happold providing Resident Engineering Services.
As well as housing many of the existing collections of the Glasgow Museum of Transport, the city has acquired additional items to enhance the experience:
Since opening the Riverside Museum has received generally positive reviews. However its layout continues to be regularly criticised by visitors; the chief complaint being that a significant portion of the cars on display are positioned on shelves mounted at great height. Visitor reviews indicate that this has been disappointing for car enthusiasts and also for Glaswegians with fond memories of visiting the Transport Museum at its previous location, which displayed the exhibits at ground level allowing visitors to see the cars up close and look inside them.