Haley Sharp Design takes lead at Museum of Liverpool

The iconic £68m Museum of Liverpool has appointed exhibition design group Haley Sharpe Design as lead exhibition design consultancy for the venue.
Located on the Mann Island World Heritage Site at Liverpool’s famous Pier Head, the landmark building promises to accommodate an estimated 750 000 visitors per year.
Danish architect 3XN will be responsible for the new museum building, while HSD will deliver the design for half of the interior exhibition space, including two of the four main galleries, Creative City and Global City.

‘The plans are still in the early stages,’ says HSD project director Dominic Sore. ‘But I can tell you that we will be using some dramatic gallery spaces, two of which include very large windows overlooking two key aspects of the city, which we will incorporate into the design. It’s not a black box, so we have to work with the architecture.’

In terms of the exhibition content, Sore says Creative City will include a range of audio-visual displays and object collections telling the story of the city’s creative history. It will include the work of Brookside creator Phil Redmond, the music of The Beatles and even a nod to the city’s rich sporting history.

‘It will be one of the most important social history museums of the past century,’ Sore adds. ‘It is of extreme importance to the people of Liverpool to tell their story.’

The remaining exhibition space will be in the hands of two other exhibition design consultants, Redman Design and Northern Light. Redman Design will be responsible for the Port City and People City galleries, while Northern Light will be designing the children’s gallery Little Liverpool and the History Detectives resource centre.

Redman Design partner John Redman says his consultancy prides itself on its ‘people-centred galleries’, because ‘they are a major part of the story’. He says the museum’s impressive central atrium Port City features an original carriage from the famous overhead railway that once carried passengers along the dock front.

There will also be a steam locomotive salvaged from the first Liverpool to Manchester Railway and references to the port’s controversial relationship with the slave trade.

‘We want to keep the best of what the previous museum had, like reconstructions of buildings, as well as bringing in new ideas and techniques that will give people something different to experience. It’s about using appropriate techniques in order to tell the best story,’ says Redman.

Sore adds, ‘It was important to the museum to appoint three different design teams, so that you get a different experience within each gallery.’

The total cost of the exhibitions will be more than £10m, and they are to open in 2010.

• The £68m museum building will be built by Danish architect 3XN. It will accommodate 750 000 visitors per year
• As lead exhibition consultancy, Haley Sharp Design will be responsible for half of the interior exhibition space
• The remaining exhibition space will be designed by Redman Design and Northern Light
• The Creative City exhibit will house a variety of audio-visual exhibits and visual displays detailing Liverpool’s creative history, including the work of Brookside creator Phil Redmond and the music of The Beatles

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