A transport rally at the Riverside Museum

Riverside Museum, Glasgow

Lawrence Fitzgerald , 15.06.2012
The Riverside Museum in Glasgow has attracted 1.5 million visits since opening last year, making it one of the top 10 museum attractions in the UK. The three-acre site (equivalent to two football pitches) is critical to the success of the museum and Glenlee, the ship moored next to it.

Transport and non-transport related events connect the museum to its surroundings and push the boundaries of the museum beyond its doors. The landscape is linked into the local cycle, road, rail and ferry networks, which in turn are brought into the building via the large facades and windows.

Rather than discourage the informal use of the hard landscape by skateboarders and cyclists, the Riverside museum provides an undulating and kerb-free space for this hard-to-attract young audience. 

Inside the museum, teenage transport is further validated through displays on Glasgow skateboarding, BMX and chopper bikes.  

The Riverside event space is the largest purpose-built outdoor civic space in Glasgow. Since opening last June, six signature events have been successfully delivered including a seafood festival, regatta and Riverside Extreme, which featured BMX stunt cyclist and YouTube phenomenon Danny MacAskill.   

The landscape has also hosted smaller hands-on and spectator activities including 10 transport rallies; a volley-ball beach competition; a music event for local musicians; and most recently a Glasgow International arts festival cross-river event to join the museum to a deprived area of Govan on the opposite bank. 

All these events help to connect further the museum to its wider community.

Lawrence Fitzgerald is the project director and museum manager at Riverside Museum in Glasgow