WEBWIRE – Monday, December 4, 2023
Tate Liverpool today announced Gilbert-Ash as the main contractor for a major reimagining of the landmark gallery on Royal Albert Dock. This £29.75 million redevelopment will transform one of the UK’s most important spaces for modern and contemporary art. Designed by 6a architects, the plans have recently been granted planning permission and listed building consent.
This year Gilbert-Ash completed work on the National Portrait Gallery in London and previously worked on the Stirling Prize winning Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. They have also acted as the main contractor for other celebrated cultural capital projects, including Battersea Arts Centre and Bristol Old Vic. Their heritage portfolio includes the refurbishment and restoration of the Grade II-listed City of London Freemen’s School and the refurbishment and extension of the Grade I-listed kitchen and dining building at Jesus College, Cambridge.
Emma King, Capital Director, Tate, said: “Gilbert-Ash’s track record of working to the highest standards on both cultural and heritage buildings makes them the perfect contractors to deliver the reimagined Tate Liverpool. We look forward to collaborating with the architects and contractors to deliver this once-in-a-generation renewal, creating an art museum fit for the 21st century.”
Raymond Gilroy, Construction Director, Gilbert-Ash, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to deliver this landmark and transformational project at Tate Liverpool. It is another unique project to add to our extensive portfolio in the Cultural, Arts and Heritage sector. Project Director, Rodney Coalter, who recently completed the National Portrait Gallery, London, will head up the team. The team is already in place finalising plans to deal with the many logistical and technical challenges that lie ahead, in advance of a start on site in early 2024. We are looking forward to developing successful and collaborative relationships with both our new client at Tate Liverpool, the wider project consultant team, and to a very successful project delivery.”
Tate Liverpool is housed in an iconic 1846 warehouse that was redesigned by Sir James Stirling and Michael Wilford in the late 1980’s as the cornerstone of the reinvention of the Royal Albert Dock. It helped establish Tate as a pioneer for arts-led regeneration in the UK.
The upcoming transformation will reimagine the gallery to meet the scale and ambition of today’s most exciting artists and to welcome visitors into a brand new museum environment. The designs include a new public ‘Art Hall’ on the ground floor, opened up to admit daylight and views across the historic dock. New gallery spaces over three floors will showcase the incredible diversity of Tate’s collection and are interspersed with public riverside foyers. Opening up the gallery’s façade will increase its visibility on the waterfront and within the Royal Albert Dock, creating an inviting destination with striking spaces for learning, play and relaxation.
Environmental standards and thermal performance will be significantly improved with new services replacing fossil fuel, with renewables and natural ventilation introduced to the building to ensure better energy performance.
Planning permission and listed building consent for the project was granted by Liverpool City Council in October and construction will commence early in 2024.
Funding for the £29.7 million project has come from the UK Government, including £10m from the Levelling Up Fund, as part of a successful combined £20m bid with National Museums Liverpool, and £6.6m from the DCMS Public Bodies Infrastructure Fund. The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority also awarded funding for the developmental phase of the project via its Strategic Investment Fund.
About Tate Liverpool
Envisaged as a flagship for making the national collection of art accessible to more people, Tate Liverpool’s impact and ambition has continued to grow since its conception 35 years ago.
Since 2019, the gallery has shown work by ground-breaking US contemporary artists Theaster Gates and Arthur Jafa and staged the first major exhibition in the UK of artist and activist Keith Haring as well as of the first UK retrospective of Lucy McKenzie and the first UK solo display of Swiss-Argentine artist Vivian Suter. More recently, Tate Liverpool responded to COVID-19 with an exhibition of portraits, created by Aliza Nisenbaum, depicting NHS staff from Merseyside, and hosted the Turner Prize 2022.
Alongside its inspiring exhibition programme, the gallery has an established reputation for delivering high quality work within the city’s communities. Projects such as Tackling the Blues, Home from Home and ground-breaking work with prison education service Novus, see Tate Liverpool engaged in a range of initiatives to support skills and promote creativity, extending its influence beyond the walls of the gallery.
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