Monday, 13 February 2012

Glasgow's Riverside Museum

On a recent trip to Glasgow I visited the newly-opened Riverside Museum - the city's new Museum of Transport designed by (st)architect Zaha Hadid. Though Hadid's aesthetic usually doesn't appeal to me at all (exaggerated computer-generated curves, I get it already), I have to say I kinda like the Riverside! The building's exterior form is essentially that trademark Hadid curvy extrusion of a not-so-trademark flat silhouette that creates the two main facades at either end of the building. The facades have a sharp, graphic quality about them that echoes the warehouses and steeples you see - or would have seen - along Glasgow's Clyde river, and the use of zinc-cladding on the building's exterior evokes some of Glasgow's industrial past. It's fairly textbook, but it works.

The interior continues curving, all in a pale lime green, but none of this takes away from the Transport Museum's impressive collection of trains, planes and automobiles. It's a remarkable exhibition of all things related to transportation, from an exhibit highlighting how the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 led to the first major increase of airport security measures to one of Scotland's more interesting transport inventions: the 1985 Sinclair C5 - a battery-powered tricycle.

One of Scotland's more successful inventions - the bicycle - is well represented too, with a type of velodrome displaying countless models and styles from all over the world:

(Images by Hufton + Crow and Haweye Aerial Photography via Zaha Hadid)

Overall, this is a really great place to spend a few hours in if you find yourself in Glasgow. Aptly, there are plenty of ways to get there such as bus, train and subway, but I recommend the walk from the city centre along the Clyde if you have half an hour and half-decent weather - get to it!