Tate Liverpool and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) are forming a new partnership on Liverpool’s historic waterfront. Tate Liverpool + RIBA North will see the art gallery join RIBA’s national architecture centre from 27 October 2023 to coincide with the temporary closure period of the museum’s building for its redevelopment, which is due to be completed in autumn 2025.
The two organisations will collaborate to deliver a programme of temporary exhibitions, family activity, public talks and other events inspired by the unique collections held by RIBA and Tate. Presented at RIBA’s building at Mann Island, the programme will focus on art, architecture and ecology. Alongside this, the venue will also have a shop and café run by Tate, providing a complete visitor experience. The partnership will reanimate RIBA North – a world-class architecture centre that has been closed since the pandemic.
The first partnership exhibition will show works from the RIBA collection, one of the largest and most wide-ranging architectural collections in the world. Long Life, Low Energy: Designing for a Circular Economy considers how the design, construction, maintenance, and demolition of buildings is vital in the journey towards global net zero targets. As Tate Liverpool undergoes a transformation to its Victorian warehouse home, this timely exhibition reveals the way architects and designers are innovating to reuse and repurpose anything from small materials to whole buildings and how we might look to the technologies of the future to navigate the climate emergency today.
Helen Legg, Director, Tate Liverpool, said:
“Moving to RIBA North during our temporary closure period will allow us to continue our presence on the waterfront and preserve the vital connection for our audiences. Although our usual home will be undergoing a transformation, we will still be able to share the wonderful art from the Tate collection and provide family activity to visitors alongside our much-loved shop and café offer. We’re thrilled to be partnering with RIBA and collaborating on an inspiring programme in the year ahead.”
RIBA Chief Executive, Dr Valerie Vaughan-Dick MBE FRCGP (Hons), said:
“I’m delighted RIBA is forming a partnership with Tate Liverpool and that RIBA North will again be open to visitors. This collaboration will bring a vibrant public programme to Liverpool’s historic waterfront, and in joining forces, we will create an exciting opportunity to connect art with architecture. RIBA members, visitors and the local community will benefit from this partnership, as will new audiences who will be able to experience and enjoy RIBA’s world-class collections.”
When announcing its redevelopment plans, Tate Liverpool committed to retaining a presence within the city while its Royal Albert Dock venue is transformed. The partnership with RIBA will be the cornerstone of that activity with three spaces for exhibitions, events and family activity for visitors to look forward to.
RIBA North is RIBA’s national architecture centre on Liverpool’s Waterfront. RIBA North opened in 2017 and held 19 exhibitions before closing to the public, during the pandemic, in 2020. This included working with Liverpool Biennial 2018 on the Hack the Root exhibition; showing RIBA’s collections in Liverpool (e): Mover, Shaker, Architectural Risk-taker; and It’ll Never Work, 25 Years of Urban Splash, celebrating 25 years of Urban Splash architectural practice. RIBA has also held an exhibition with Grimshaw Architects featuring Eden Project Morecambe.
This new partnership is the start of a long-term relationship between the two organisations, initially helping Tate to maintain a presence on the waterfront in Liverpool while helping RIBA to fulfil its charitable purpose to promote architecture to the public.