Call goes out to architects to ‘reimagine’ Tate Liverpool in £25m project

Tate Liverpool is seeking tenders from architects to work with the gallery to achieve a major £25m reimagining of its landmark gallery on Royal Albert Dock.

When Tate Liverpool opened in 1988 it was a pioneer for arts-led regeneration, a gallery of international standing, in an iconic world city, designed by the leading architect of his generation, Sir James Stirling.

Now the gallery has outlined the brief for a refurbishment of its gallery and public spaces that will enable it to thrive for the next 30 years.

The tender document says Tate Liverpool is embarking on ambitious £25m programme to reimagine and redevelop the gallery complex.

Tate is looking to appoint a professional team to support this ambition and to bring coherent architectural and engineering response to the needs and expectations of present-day artists and visitors. A successful project will balance these needs with the heritage significance of Jesse Hartley’s 19th century Grade I-listed structure and the remnants of the 1980s Stirling Wilford conversion.

The works will transform the welcome and usability of the building, increasing the gallery’s visibility on the waterfront and within the Albert Dock, easing the transition between social and gallery environments and offering more engaging routes through the building.

£10m has been awarded to Tate Liverpool from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund as part of a successful combined £20m bid with National Museums Liverpool for their waterfront projects.

Since 2019, the gallery has shown work by ground breaking African American contemporary artists Theaster Gates and Arthur Jafa, whose work speaks about race relations in the USA and UK, staged the first major exhibition in the UK of American artist and activist Keith Haring as well as South Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho.

More recently, Tate Liverpool responded to COVID-19 with an exhibition of portraits, created Aliza Nisenbaum, depicting NHS staff from Merseyside, unveiled the inaugural Art North West commission by Emily Speed and hosted the first UK retrospective of Glasgow- born Lucy McKenzie.

Alongside the inspiring exhibitions 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 the ground breaking work with prison education service Novus, sees the gallery engaged in a range of initiatives to support skills and employability, promote arts in education and creativity as a tool for social change that see it extend its influence beyond the walls of the waterfront gallery.

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