Lonely Planet Writer

Architecture gallery to become a new neighbour for Liverpool's Three Graces

Liverpool’s river front along the Mersey is known across the world for its iconic Three Graces – the three spectacular early twentieth-century buildings on the Pier Head.

RIBA North Centre, Liverpool
RIBA North centre, Liverpool Image by ©Walter Menzies

Now, the Three Graces are set to get a new neighbour in the form of an ultra-modern architecture centre that will open to the public in just two months.

RIBA North Centre, Liverpool.
RIBA North centre, Liverpool. Image by ©webbaviation.co.uk

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) are cutting the ribbon on the new complex on 17 June with gallery spaces for visitors to the maritime city. The RIBA North centre, designed by Broadway Malyan, is a dramatic black-mirrored glass complex of two adjoining buildings on the waterfront.

RIBA North centre
RIBA North centre Image by ®Edmund-Sumner

It will feature a City Gallery where visitors can learn more about Liverpool’s architectural past, present, and future. It also includes a Digital City Model, an interactive 3D model that tells stories about the city and its Unesco World Heritage status. The complex will also host a range of temporary exhibitions and let visitors sift through RIBA’s historic collections of drawings, photographs, and prints.

RIBA North centre in Liverpool.
RIBA North centre in Liverpool. Image by ®Edmund Sumner

The opening exhibition will be Liverpool(e): Mover, Shaker, Architectural Risk-Taker and will tell the story of the city and its most ambitious buildings. They include the ‘Three Graces’: the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building, and the Port of Liverpool Building on the Pier Head. The city is also home to two spectacular modern cathedrals, Giles Gilbert Scott’s Cathedral Church of Christ – the longest church in the world – and the cone-shaped Metropolitan Cathedral a kilometre away.

Liverpool's iconic waterfront.
Liverpool’s iconic waterfront. Image by ©webbaviation.co.uk

The new exhibition helps tell the stories of the two churches and what might have been through other unbuilt designs. Jane Duncan of RIBA said: “we have a building with museum conditions, which will offer a magnificent opportunity to view [our] world-renowned historic collections showing hundreds of years of the UK’s extraordinary architectural history.”

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