A firm has been appointed to progress the redevelopment of the International Slavery Museum and Maritime Museum.

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBStudios) will develop the proposals for the Dr Martin Luther King Jr building and the Hartley Pavilion.

The redevelopment, part of Liverpool’s larger Waterfront Transformation Project, was originally to be led by Adjaye Associates but was dropped in August in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against practice founder David Adjaye.

The newly appointed FCBStudios has worked with National Museums Liverpool already. It completed the original masterplan for its waterfront sites in 2019, and supported the International Slavery Museum and Maritime Museum Project’s bid to the National Heritage Lottery Fund Heritage Horizon Awards programme in 2020.

The redevelopment will see the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building become a new entrance to the International Slavery Museum, which National Museums Liverpool said will create an “improved visitor orientation and an inspiring welcome” and “a stronger sense of purpose and identity for the museum”.

The building will serve as a space for “community collaboration, events, and learning and participation activity”.

Plans for the Hartley Pavilion include “improved circulation for visitors with enhanced commercial facilities, including a shop, café, events spaces and a dynamic temporary exhibition space. ”

Ralph Appelbaum Associates, who were appointed in 2022, continues to lead on the exhibition design for both museums.

FCBStudios will work with members of the University of Liverpool School of Architecture in facilitating the co-production of the designs. The FCBStudios team will be led by partner, Kossy Nnachetta.

Nnachetta said: “We understand that there is huge responsibility to help create a platform to tell this story, long whispered, yet still awaiting the space to fully express itself; and all the potent, deep-seated emotions it can elicit. We hope to help create something bold and yet beautiful. The result of ‘many hands’ working together with the museums and communities in Liverpool.”

Laura Pye, Director of National Museums Liverpool, added: “There has never been a more important time to address the legacies of the transatlantic slavery and the redevelopment of the International Slavery Museum symbolises our, and our region’s, commitment to confronting the significant role the city played in British imperialism.”

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