Exterior of the Paisley Museum. Image Courtesy of Paisley Museum

Exterior of the Paisley Museum. Image Courtesy of Paisley Museum

London-based AL_A has been appointed for their first Scottish commission: the $55million (£42million) transformation of the Paisley Museum. The brief calls for the revitalization of the home of Paisley’s textile heritage, natural history and art and science collections.

The museum’s transformation is a flagship project for a $135million (£100million) investment in cultural venues by the council governing the city of Paisley, in preparation for a UK City of Culture 2021 bid legacy.


Pillar Gallery at the Paisley Museum. Image Courtesy of Paisley Museum

Pillar Gallery at the Paisley Museum. Image Courtesy of Paisley Museum

While the Paisley Museum renovation represents AL_A’s first Scottish commission, the firm has extensive experience in the design of museums and cultural venues, including the Victoria & Albert Exhibition Road Quarter, which has recently been awarded a RIBA London Building of the Year award. The firm has also recently been shortlisted for the redesign of the visitor experience for the Eiffel Tower


Balcony at the Paisley Museum. Image Courtesy of Paisley Museum

Balcony at the Paisley Museum. Image Courtesy of Paisley Museum



This is one of the most radical briefs I have read – it triggered in us a desire to tell the untold history of Paisley and search for a narrative thread that will drive the design. The project is bigger than the building itself and I am excited to re-imagine the relationship between the street and museum. This is not only about finding the way to best show the museum’s collection, it’s also about showing the world how an ambitious cultural project can have a profound impact on a community and its identity.
-Amanda Levete, Founder, AL_A


Loom exhibit at the Paisley Museum. Image Courtesy of Paisley Museum

Loom exhibit at the Paisley Museum. Image Courtesy of Paisley Museum

The museum will close in the Autumn of 2018 for work to begin. The project will include a contemporary addition to the existing Victorian building with a new entrance, café, shop, landscaping, and museum spaces. Four museum buildings will be renovated in tandem with a complete internal redesign to reimagine the visitor experience and double the number of objects on display.


Entrance at the Paisley Museum. Image Courtesy of Paisley Museum

Entrance at the Paisley Museum. Image Courtesy of Paisley Museum

One of 120 firms to tender for the project, AL_A will lead the design team including Giles Quarme and Associates, landscape architects GROSS.MAX, and engineers Arup.

The museum is expected to reopen in 2022.

News via: AL_A

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