£74 million Riverside Museum opens as Glasgow chiefs celebrate a "city transformed"

By Culture24 Staff | 22 June 2011
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A photo of people sitting inside an old railway carriage
Vintage fun as the Riverside Museum opens
The Riverside Museum, the Zaha Hadid-designed Clydeside arch touted as a “shining beacon of architectural and engineering innovation” for Scotland, has ended its lengthy campaign of fundraising and fanfare by opening the doors to its 3,000-item collection.

The £74 million museum features more than 150 interactive displays, a chance to stroll down a city street during the 1900s and more juggernauts from the city’s imperious shipbuilding past than you can raise a Cross of St Andrew at.

“Glasgow is a city transformed,” declared Glasgow City Council Leader Gordon Matheson, calling the opening “the most significant launch on the Clyde for many a year.”

“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 be proud of.

“Glasgow’s past 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 technological expertise.”

A photo of a thin ship on a river outside a huge museum
The museum is one of the most visually impressive in the UK
A reminder of that frenetic industrial past, the Tall Ship Glenlee, is moored outside the south façade, standing as one of only five Clyde-built vessels afloat in the world.

Acclaimed British-Iraqi architect Zahid has made the building her first major public commission in the UK, and said her design had been informed by the “profoundly interlinked” histories of river and region.

“I wanted the building to reflect the importance of its location and allow for the innovative and inspirational display of its outstanding collection,” she explained, praising the thousands of workers who have been involved in the development.

“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.”

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