Practice will work with academics from Univertisy of Liverpool School of Architecture on £57m upgrade project

FCBStudios CREDIT Pete Carr 03

Source: Pete Carr

Peter Clegg, Kudzai Matsvai, Kossy Nnachetta, Geoff Rich and Ilze Wolff

National Museums Liverpool has appointed Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios to lead architectural design work for the £57m redevelopment of the city’s International Slavery Museum and Maritime Museum.

The appointment comes after Adjaye Associates was removed from the project in August last year following a series of sexual misconduct allegations against practice founder David Adjaye, which the 2021 RIBA Royal Gold Medal recipient has denied.

NML said at the time that it would run an “accelerated process” to find a replacement architect for the redevelopment of the museums, both of which are based at Liverpool’s grade I-listed Royal Albert Dock – which was designed by Jesse Hartley.

Confirming its appointment to the project yesterday, FCBS said its role would be to develop the existing proposals for the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building and the Hartley Pavilion at the dock.

The Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building will become a new entrance for the Slavery Museum, designed to improve visitor orientation and deliver a stronger sense of purpose and identity for the museum.

Plans for the Hartley Pavilion are expected to provide improved circulation for visitors and enhanced commercial facilities, including shop, café, events spaces and a dynamic temporary exhibition space.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr building and the Hartley Pavilion in Royal Albert Dock Liverpool CREDIT Ant Clausen 02

Source: Ant Clausen

The Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building and the Hartley Pavilion at the Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool.

FCBS partner Kossy Nnachetta said her team was both “excited and humbled” to be appointed to the museums upgrade, which is part of the wider Waterfront Transformation Project.

“We understand that there is huge responsibility to help create a platform to tell this story, long whispered, yet still awaiting the space to fully express itself; and all the potent, deep-seated emotions it can elicit,” she said.

“We hope to help create something bold and yet beautiful. The result of ‘many hands’ working together with the museums and communities in Liverpool.”

As part of the redevelopment the NML is seeking to give new prominence to the stories that form part of its collections, ranging from the story of transatlantic slavery and its ongoing legacies to the Titanic, emigration and the two world wars.

Ralph Appelbaum Associates is leading on the exhibition design for both museums.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr building 01 CREDIT Ant Clausen

Source: Ant Clausen

The Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building at Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock

NML director Laura Pye said there had never been a more important time to address the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade.

“The redevelopment of the International Slavery Museum symbolises our, and our region’s commitment to confronting the significant role the city played in British imperialism,” she said.

FCBS will work with members of the University of Liverpool School of Architecture as part of the project, including newly-appointed professor Ilze Wolff, of South African practice Wolff Architects, head of school Ola Uduku and PhD student Kudzai Matsvai. 

Adjaye Associates beat a host of star names including Haworth Tompkins and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios to win the NML job in June 2022.