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AL_A transforms Scotland's Paisley Museum with dramatic red glazed entrance

United Kingdom Architecture News - Aug 31, 2019 - 07:54   5150 views

AL_A transforms Scotland's Paisley Museum with dramatic red glazed entrance

Stirling Prize winner Amanda Levete's AL_A has unveiled design for the transformation of the Paisley Museum in Scotland, including dramatic red glazed entrance to be more inviting on the High Street and become a contemporary face for Paisley Museum.

The £42m Paisley Museum is undergoing a major renovation to be a leading European museum telling the stories of Paisley's people and Pattern, and home to its internationally-significant collections.

Plans have been submitted to the City Council for planning approval, and if it is approved, the new museum is scheduled to reopen in 2022. The reimagined museum is expected to draw audiences from Scotland, the UK and abroad - almost quadrupling visitor numbers to 125,000 a year.

AL_A transforms Scotland's Paisley Museum with dramatic red glazed entrance

AL_A will create a fully accessible entrance courtyard and a dramatic red glazed entrance hall which will be a contemporary face of the museum. A new wing will be added to the west of the existing building providing step-free access through the museum up to the Coats Observatory (the oldest public observatory in Scotland), containing learning spaces and with views onto the new museum garden.

The new plans will also include an attractive outdoor garden, creating a new public space for the town, and opening up previously-hidden views of the observatory while reconnecting it and the museum to the town's High Street.

AL_A's design will oversee some internal renovations that will improve accessibility and circulation, deliver international environmental standards for gallery spaces, and allow the museum to more than double the number of objects on display to 1,200.

AL_A transforms Scotland's Paisley Museum with dramatic red glazed entrance

An interactive weaving studio will be added for keeping alive the town's traditional textile skills. The renovated museum and library buildings will be in conversation with the new. Together they create a cohesive museum campus and a visitor experience of international quality.

"The brief for Paisley Museum is one of the most radical I've encountered. Paisley has a proud industrial past and a history of innovation and radical thinking. We have embedded this into our design to create an extraordinary place for the community of Paisley," said Amanda Levete, principal of AL_A.

"Few places of Paisley's size can claim such global impact - the town created a global fashion icon, was once the centre of the world's textile industry, and Paisley people have shaped the world for centuries with their creativity," said Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure.

"The reopened museum will celebrate all of that and more, by using Paisley's outstanding collections to retell the stories of those people, and give the world a reason to come back to Paisley."

"The museum is central to a wider investment in Paisley's venues and outdoor spaces, embedding culture and events at the heart of how we are transforming our historic town centre and putting it back on the map as a destination," Hughes added.

"The beautiful images revealed today show how this wonderful historic building will at once be preserved and modernised, and ensure this proud symbol of Paisley's past is at the heart of its future."

AL_A transforms Scotland's Paisley Museum with dramatic red glazed entrance

Image courtesy of Paisley Museum

The project is expected to create a £79m boost for the local economy over 30 years, with 138 jobs supported during construction, and 48.5 jobs per year through revenue and visitor spending.

The Paisley Museum Reimagined project received Round One funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

AL_A is behind the project MAAT Museum in Lisbon and the "world’s first porcelain courtyard" at the the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Amanda Levete is currently working on stackable football pitches to be erected on vacant sites of London.

All images courtesy of AL_A unless otherwise stated.

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