Riverside Museum of Transport | Glasgow

Pointhouse Place, 100, Glasgow
Scotland, United Kingdom
Email: museums@glasgowlife.org.uk
Phone: +44 (0)141 287 2720
Website: https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/
closed on: open daily
Museum Type: Transports / Automotive
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The Riverside Museum in Glasgow is an iconic building, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, that accommodates Scotland’s museum of transport, one of the most visited museums in the United Kingdom.

Zaha Hadid’s building

In 2011, the Transport Museum Glasgow moved from its historical home in Kelvin street into a new iconic building on the River Clyde waterfront and renamed Riverside Museum.
The new Riverside Museum was designed by Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid within the site of a former shipyard as a part of the larger Glasgow Harbor urban regeneration project.
For the museum, Hadid conceived a fluid and dynamic building that “flows from city to waterfront, symbolizing the dynamic relationship between Glasgow and the ship-building, seafaring and industrial legacy of the river Clyde.“ (ZHA)

With a gross floor area of 11,000 square meters / 118,000 square feet, the Riverside Museum of Transports and Travel accommodates an entrance lobby, a large free-column exhibition hall, education and entertainment spaces, a cafe, and a shop.

Clad with 24,000 zinc panels, the exterior of the building is characterized by an imposing glass facade with a zigzagging roof on its south side, in front of which a restored Victorian sailing vessel, the Glenlee, is permanently moored.

Internally, the museum features an impressive 150-meter / 490-foot long tunnel-like yellow-colored main exhibition gallery with the pieces on view placed either on the floor or on large “shelves” attached to sidewalls.
In the same hall, a circular installation hanging from the ceiling presents many bicycles “running” on a fictional velodrome.

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The Riverside Museum in Glasgow and the Tall Ship Glenlee; photo Michelle Muirhead

Collection, permanent exhibition, and activities

The Riverside Museum’s collection comprises about 21,000 objects related to various means of transportation, including boats, automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, horse-drawn carriages, trolley cars, steam locomotives, streetcars, skateboards, and bicycles.

A selection of nearly 3,000 iconic pieces from the collection is displayed in thematic sections, together with reconstructions, scale models, and 90 touch screen panels with videos, texts, and images aimed to contextualize historically and technically the objects on view. The permanent exhibition also pays special attention to Glasgow’s shipbuilding history, whose origins date back to the 15th century.

The program of events and activities of the Riverside Museum includes guided tours, education programs for adults and children, temporary exhibitions, and special events.


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Riverside Museum Glasgow, Zaha Hadid Architects, south facade at dusk; photo Andy Magee

Riverside Museum Glasgow Zaha Hadid ground floor plan

Riverside Museum Glasgow Zaha Hadid elevations

Riverside Museum Glasgow, ground floor plan and elevations; images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Riverside Museum Glasgow Zaha Hadid aerial view

Riverside Museum, photo © Hawkeye Aerial Photography, courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects


Interior view of the museum’s main gallery; photo Ed Webster


The “bicycle velodrome” installation; photo Ian Dick

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Riverside Museum’s permanent exhibition, the “Wall of Cars” section; photo Anne.


Riverside Museum’s permanent exhibition, the “Street 1895-1930” section; photo Ed Webster

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The permanent exhibition, a group of steam locomotives; photo Ed Webster

Riverside Museum Glasgow BSA Bantam D1 motorcycle

A 1957 BSA Bantam D1 motorcycle; photo Ian Dick

Cover image © Hufton & Crow, courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

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