Riverside Museum

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STEPHEN ROBINSON

This award-winning structure houses the contents of the former Museum of Transport, including trams, prams and rockets.

Intended as a gleaming symbol of modern Clydeside, rising from the post-industrial wasteland where shipyards once stood, the Riverside Museum has attracted scorn as well as accolades since it opened in 2011. This ambitious 7,500 square metre zig-zag metal and glass structure, designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, won the European Museum of the Year Award in 2013. But, despite that, it was always going to have its work cut out for it in replacing Glasgow’s beloved old Museum of Transport at Kelvingrove, a favourite attraction for generations of Scots.

The Riverside Museum will no doubt become just as treasured in time – even if there remain calls to reconsider the decision to display a significant portion of its historic cars on shelves mounted at great height; cars that were fondly remembered as being closely accessible at ground level in their former home. But otherwise, the 3,000-strong collection of objects detailing Glasgow’s rich past from its era as maritime powerhouse through to the present day are as fascinating as ever, and engrossingly displayed. Skateboards, bicycles, prams and trams, rockets, boats and even an authentic large-scale recreation of a cobbled old city street are all featured.

A new addition to the collection includes a grand 1940s steam locomotive. Built by the Glasgow-based North British Locomotive Company at Polmadie, it became the backbone of South Africa Railways during the age of steam before being donated back to its home city in time for the Riverside’s opening. Another key selling point is its incorporation of Glasgow’s Tall Ship, a handsome 19th-century transcontinental trading vessel called the Glenlee. It was towed a few miles upriver from its old berth to sit by the quay immediately outside, and its three masts elegantly complement the building’s sharply cresting and falling façade.

By: Malcolm Jack

Posted:

Venue name: Riverside Museum
Contact:
Address: 100 Pointhouse Place
Glasgow
G3 8RS
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