Riverside Museum

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Riverside Museum
Riverside Museum Glasgow EC2018
Location100 Pointhouse Place, Glasgow, G3 8RS, Scotland
Collection size3,000 objects
Visitors1,355,359 (2017)[1]

The Riverside Museum is the current location of the Glasgow Museum of Transport, at Pointhouse Quay in the Glasgow Harbour regeneration district of Glasgow, Scotland. The building opened in June 2011. On 18 May 2013, the museum was announced as the Winner of the 2013 European Museum of the Year Award. It received 1,131,814 visitors in 2017, making it the fourth most popular attraction in Scotland.[1]

Concept and design[edit]

The Riverside Museum building was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and engineers Buro Happold.[2] The internal exhibitions and displays were designed by Event Communications.[3] The purpose-built Museum replaced the previous home for the city's transport collection, at the city's Kelvin Hall, and was the first museum to be opened in the city since the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art in 1993.[citation needed] The location of the museum is on the site of the former A. & J. Inglis Shipyard within Glasgow Harbour, on the north bank of the River Clyde and adjacent to its confluence point with the River Kelvin. This site enabled the Clyde Maritime Trust's SV Glenlee and other visiting craft to berth alongside the museum.[4]

A panoramic view of the front of the building.
The Riverside Museum and Tall Ship from Govan
The Riverside Museum and Tall Ship from Govan
A different angle of the front of the Riverside Museum
A different angle of the front of the Riverside Museum


Of the £74 million needed for the development of the Riverside Museum, Glasgow City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund have committed £69 million. The Riverside Museum Appeal is a charitable trust established to raise the final £5 million in sponsorship and donations from companies, trusts and individuals for the development of the museum. The Riverside Museum Appeal Trust is recognised as a Scottish Charity SC 033286.[5]

Major patrons of the project include: BAE Systems Surface Ships, Weir Group, Rolls-Royce plc, FirstGroup, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Caledonian MacBrayne, Arnold Clark, Scottish and Southern Energy, Diageo, Bank of Scotland and Optical Express.[6]


Detail of south elevation
Museum under construction, Feb 2009 & Feb 2010

On 13 November 2007 the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Bob Winter cut the first turf.[7] During the summer of 2008, foundational work was carried out, with massive underground trenches created to house the services for the building. By late September 2008, the steel framework of the structure was taking shape. During 2010 the cladding of the building was put in place and internal fitting-out work continued along with external landscaping works. The building was structurally completed by late autumn 2010 and work continued to prepare the Riverside Museum for its opening on 21 June 2011.

The main contractors for the project were BAM Construct UK Ltd[8] with a range of trade subcontractors including the services installations being delivered by BBESL's team of Jordan Kerr, Gordon Ferguson & Jamie Will and FES, project management being the responsibility of Capita Symonds and Buro Happold providing Resident Engineering Services.

The building was completed on 20 June 2011 and the next day it opened to the public.[9]


Class 15F locomotive 3007 in George Square in 2007
Some of the museum's exhibits

As well as housing many of the existing collections of the Glasgow Museum of Transport, the city has acquired additional items to enhance the experience:


Since opening the Riverside Museum has received generally positive reviews. However its layout continues to be regularly criticised by visitors; the chief complaint being that a significant portion of the cars on display are positioned on shelves mounted at great height. Visitor reviews indicate that this has been disappointing for car enthusiasts and also for Glaswegians with fond memories of visiting the Transport Museum at its previous location, which displayed the exhibits at ground level allowing visitors to see the cars up close and look inside them.[14]

In 2013, the museum had 740,276 visitors during the year.[15] In 2015, the annual number of visitors had increased to 1,131,814, making it the fifth most popular attraction in Scotland.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Record attendance for Scottish visitor attractions". BBC. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  2. ^ Museum of Transport Glasgow, Glasgow Transport Museum, Zaha Hadid
  3. ^ Banks, Tom (10 February 2010). "Event works with Zaha Hadid on Glasgow museum". Design Week. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Riverside Museum". Clyde Port. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  5. ^ "Riverside Museum Appeal". Glasgow Museums. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  6. ^ Riverside Museum Patrons
  7. ^ "Building of Glasgow's £74M Riverside Museum gets underway". 24hourmuseum.org.uk. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  8. ^ Riverside Museum BAM Website
  9. ^ "Glasgow's £74m Riverside Museum opens to public". BBC News. 21 June 2011.
  10. ^ "Lowry's painting of Glasgow docks - comes home". 24hourmuseum.org.uk. 2005-12-23. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  11. ^ "Willie Haughey's City Charitable Trust Helps Riverside Museum". williehaughey.com. Archived from the original on 2 May 2011.
  12. ^ "3007 Returns to Glasgow". Railways Africa. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Train steams in for museum funds". BBC News Scotland. 2007-08-24. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  14. ^ http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186534-d214166-Reviews-The_Riverside_Museum_of_Transport_and_Travel-Glasgow_Scotland.html
  15. ^ "2013 Visitor figures". Association of Leading Visitor Attractions data. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  16. ^ O'Neill, Emma (2 March 2016). "The 20 most visited Scottish attractions of 2015". The Scotsman. Retrieved 11 October 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°51′54″N 4°18′23″W / 55.8651°N 4.30638°W / 55.8651; -4.30638