A joint partnership of architects Adjaye Associates and exhibition designers Ralph Appelbaum Associates has been selected to oversee the National Museums Liverpool's £57 million ($68 million) redevelopment of the International Slavery Museum and Maritime Museum.
The winning bid proposes to make the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Building a prominent new entrance to the International Slavery Museum to improve visitor orientation and, more significantly, establish a stronger sense of purpose and identity for the exhibition. The Hartley Pavilion will be updated with new spaces for events, dining, retail, and temporary exhibitions.
"This project presents us with an opportunity to reimagine the historic fabric of this Grade 1 Listed Building and to reposition it within the powerful context of Liverpool’s Waterfront and its relationship to the transatlantic slave trade," David Adjaye commented on the commission.
Phillip Tefft, Director of RAA's London studio, expressed his team's anticipation of "an inclusive co-production process that places the descendants of people impacted by Liverpool’s maritime history at the heart of the conversation and emerging museum experience."
National Museums Liverpool's selection process was done in partnership with its RESPECT group, a consultative initiative established in 2008 leading on from the Liverpool Slavery Remembrance Initiative Steering Group with the goal of advising on the representation and interpretation of Empire, imperialism, colonialism, and decolonial practices within NML's galleries and collections.
Last October, the multidisciplinary team comprising David Adjaye, Asif Khan, Mariam Kamara, and Theaster Gates was selected by National Museums Liverpool to redesign the city’s Canning Dock as part of a greater 10-year waterfront redevelopment master plan.
Earlier this year, another leading cultural institution, Tate Liverpool, announced its plans for an ambitious £25 million ($34 million) refurbishment.
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