The first evidence of design’s involvement in the rejuvenation of Liverpool comes this week with the £40m refurbishment of the Liverpool Museum by Jasper Jacob Associates.
JJA, which has had interiors concepts signed off, goes on site this week with its redesign of both the museum’s old space and new extension. Work includes the entrance, atrium and the refurbishment of several galleries including the Ethnographic Gallery, an aquarium, the Natural History Centre and Info World.
External building work by Edinburgh architect Law and Dunbar-Nasmith is under way. The entire refurbishment is set to be completed by summer 2005.
According to National Museums Liverpool executive designer Theresa Doyle, signage for the museum’s new extension will also be ‘radically reviewed’ by JJA. But the museum’s identity, which ‘has been reviewed’ in-house, will be ‘kept as it is for the moment’.
The atrium, a five-storey ‘holding area’ with bridges linking the two sides of the museum and lifts to all floors, forms the central focus of the museum, says Doyle.
The museum plans to incorporate interactive elements in most of the galleries, she adds. The Natural History Centre will be manned by experts and the Info World space aims to enable visitors to link up via video to curators.
The first fruits of JJA’s interiors work will be the redesign of the Walker Art Gallery’s craft and design galleries, which are due for completion by Christmas.