The first images showing how architects AL_A will transform Paisley Museum into a world-class destination showcasing the stories of a Scottish town whose influence reached around the globe are today revealed. The museum is undergoing a £42m transformation into a leading European museum telling the stories of Paisley’s people and Pattern, and home to its internationally-significant collections.
When it reopens 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. And today sees the first reveal of images, showing how AL_A – led by Stirling Prize winner Amanda Levete – plan to restore and reinvigorate the museum, including:
- fully accessible entrance courtyard and a dramatic red glazed entrance hall, creating a dynamic and inviting presence on the High Street and a contemporary face for the museum;
- a new wing 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;
- 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;
- internal renovations 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;
- an interactive weaving studio 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. Renfrewshire’s collections are among the best in Scotland and include the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls and pattern books, artwork from the world-renowned Glasgow Boys, one of Scotland’s best collections of studio ceramics, and a unique offering of mediaeval manuscripts dating back to before the Reformation. Source and images Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.