Grand launch for Riverside Museum

21 Jun 2011

The Riverside Museum, Glasgow's newest attraction, has launched today with a traditional waterside celebration.

The Riverside Museum, Glasgow's new Museum of Transport and Travel has opened to the public. The opening ceremony was conducted by Glasgow City Council Leader, Gordon Matheson, who smashed a bottle of champagne on the side of the building as befits the latest launch on the Clyde.

The Riverside Museum houses more than 3,000 exhibits, in over 150 interactive displays telling the stories of the people who made the term 'Clyde Built' one which travelled the world and spoke volumes about unbeatable quality. From massive steam locomotives, to the recreation of a city street during the 1900s, the cathedral-like structure provides a stunning backdrop to showcase the innovation and ambition of what was the 'Second City of the Empire'

The Riverside Museum was designed by Zaha Hadid, arguably the world's most in-demand architect. The £74 million museum is Hadid's first major public commission to open in the UK. It has been funded by Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Riverside Museum Appeal. Like all of Glasgow's 10 civic museums, entry is free.

Outside, The Tall Ship Glenlee is moored in front of the museum's dramatic south façade, bringing her together, for the very first time, with the city's unrivalled ship model collection, and creating a dramatic and iconic international destination. The Glenlee is one of only five Clyde-built sailing vessels afloat in the world today and the only one in the UK. The Tall Ship which recently underwent a £1.5m refurbishment also opened to the public on June 21.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "I am delighted to be welcoming people to Glasgow's latest star attraction. The Riverside Museum is a breathtaking new home for our internationally renowned transport collection. The exhibits inside this magnificent new building have been given a further lease of life thanks to some stunning new displays that not only show off the trains, cars, trams and bikes but also tell the stories of the people who made them, bought them, used them and loved them.

"Having The Tall Ship berthed right outside adds even further incentive to take a visit to enjoy Glasgow's transport treasures. This project gives Glasgow an iconic new building, a new museum that further highlights the city's rich heritage and continues our ambition to be at the forefront of the cultural and tourist markets in Britain and a destination that we can all be rightly proud of."

More than 1,200 people have worked on the project, since it was given the initial go-ahead in 2002 and work on-site at the historic Pointhouse Quay, began in 2007. The main contractors, BAM, described the building of the massive, 2,500 tonnes steel roof, without any internal supporting columns, as the most challenging engineering feat in the UK today. An additional 3,000 people worked on the various construction contracts to build the museum and quayside public realm.

Source: Glasgow Life