Style Ideas: Museum of Liverpool

On 19th July, 2011 the former Museum of Liverpool Life re-opened its doors to the public as the new Museum of Liverpool. The £72million project located on the Mann Island site at the Pier Head had been in need of a much larger venue after the previous building was unable to cope with the 300,000 visitors it was receiving each year.

This ambitious project now stands as the largest new built museum in the UK in over a century consisting of a staggering 8,000m2 of exhibition space holding 6,000 objects for the public to view. The minds behind the building, Danish Designers 3XN, were optimistic in their expectations. They not only plan on increasing the visitor count to the museum but more than double it. They stated,

“It is estimated that the new museum will attract at least 750,000 visitors on a yearly basis, and that Liverpool, with the Museum as a symbol of the Liverpool’s on going regeneration, will be elevated into the front rank of European tourist destinations, as well as providing a brilliant place for local families to find out about their own history.”

It is, of course, that rich history of Liverpool that is pivotal to its previous incarnation’s success. It was able to explore the social, cultural and urban history of the city.

The new museum takes that success and expands upon it. With such a large scope for exhibits, it is able to cover a large amount of ground. From the grim realities of life in an industrial city during two world wars and the city’s coming to terms with its role in the transatlantic slave trade to the optimism of the swinging 60s and its four most famous sons, the Beatles.

It even takes the time to comment on the unique character of Liverpool’s accent, with a quote from Willy Russell, “The nature of the spoken word in Liverpool” is for writers, “as the sky and the light must have been to the impressionists.”

The building, which is prominently visible from both river and city, is just as impressive in its design and construction as it is in its exhibits. Needing, not to compete, but to compliment the landmark “Three Graces” of Liverpool’s waterfront, the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Former Offices of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, the museum makes its mark on the Liverpool skyline.

With its structure consisting of 2,100 tonnes of steel two allow for huge column-free rooms and two huge 28m wide windows anchor either side allowing fantastic views of Liverpool. This design feature allows for a blur between the exhibitions and the real-world city they tell the story of.

However what made us excited at is discovering that the very same stone we champion from southern Germany, Jura Limestone, would be used as cladding for the building and not just in small amounts. In fact the building required a massive 5700m2 of Jura, comparable in size to the entire pitches of Anfield or Goodison Park.

The impressive display across the side used some of the most state of the art 3D modelling techniques combined with the latest CNC (computer numerical control) technology allowing for the highly precise cutting of the stone.

All 460 tonnes of the Kratzschliff Jura Gelb (Brushed Jura Beige) is then mounted upon bespoke steel frames before being raised and positioned on the side of the museum in a protruding three dimensional geometric pattern.

The building looks impressive sat at the edge of the Mersey and the start of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, making the engineering feat achieved all the more startling as challenges faced in its design are more comparable to that of a bridge than a building.

What really impressed us was the creativity that went into the design of the bespoke Jura Limestone and if you have been equally impressed or have an idea for your own project, please do not hesitate to visit our bespoke Jura section for further ideas or call us on 0844 88 2877.

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