Seven years since opening, Zaha Hadid’s Riverside Museum remains one of her UK triumphs, creating a flowing folded structure with glazed walls out to the river and the Tall Ship, the Glenlee, which was built down the river at Port Glasgow, her architectural shell providing a sculptural soaring warehouse filled with cars, trams, trains, buses, bicycles, ship models and transport exhibits of all types plus other related subjects, piled high on shelves up the walls and hanging overhead.
The building when originally proposed was intended to be a catalyst for the regeneration of this area of former shipyards and docks along the River Clyde. The first sod was cut in 2007 but then we had the financial crash of 2008. In this business, you have to take a long term view and invest for the long term. In August, with the children on their summer holidays and visiting the museum, it now seems too cluttered and claustrophobic – perhaps they need a Riverside 2.
There are also huge opportunities for economic redevelopment in Glasgow. If the British Government could think of anything apart from Brexit, it could take a strategic view and move non-essential activities out of London, reducing the housing pressure on London and taking creating new opportunities in other cities where there is land for redevelopment. Previous governments have done this to an extent, but are there more opportunities?