The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will open a new national architecture centre, RIBA North, in Liverpool this August. The centre will house an exhibition gallery, a conference and event space, a cafe and a shop, and aims to build upon the Waterfront location’s status as a lively cultural destination.
The centre is sited within the newly redeveloped Mann Island, for which Broadway Malyan won a RIBA North West award in 2015. The prominent waterfront site sits in close proximity to the Three Graces, the New Museum of Liverpool, Liverpool One and the attractions of Albert Dock, and is consequently already the recipient of high foot traffic and public interest. The centre aims to "offer perspectives on the built environment to architecture and design enthusiasts, families, students and professionals."
At the core of the new centre is an exhibition gallery that will host historic RIBA collections, "telling hundreds of years of the UK’s extraordinary architectural history.” The collections boast the most extensive archive of architectural drawings, prints and photographs in the UK. Talks and tours will also be hosted within the centre, and a conference and event space will offer meeting points for members in the region.
The opening exhibition highlights the reasoning behind RIBA's choice of Liverpool as the host for the new centre. Entitled ‘Liverpool(e): Mover, Shaker, Architecture Risk Taker,’ the exhibition will celebrate Liverpool’s "long, often maverick, history of architectural ambition, its willingness to take risks and be open to transformation." The exhibition will also show unbuilt proposals for the city, featuring extensive multimedia from the RIBA Collections, some of which has been previously unseen by the public.