London-based AL_A has been appointed for their first Scottish commission: the $55million (£42million) transformation of the PaisleyMuseum. 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.
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
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.
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.