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RIBA and Tate to partner in the north of England

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Tate Liverpool are forming a new partnership on Liverpool’s historic waterfront.

27 July 2023

Today, 26 July 2023, 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.

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. 

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.” 

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) (L) and Helen Legg, Director, Tate Liverpool (R)by Jack Irlam-Mowbray.

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.  


Dominic Beaumont, Communications Manager, Tate Liverpool 0151 702 7444 / 07969 592950 

Ryan Johnston, Media & Communications Officer, RIBA +44 (0)20 7580 5533  

Notes to Editors 


The Royal Institute of British Architects is a charity and global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates.  

Tate Liverpool

Envisaged as a flagship for making the national collections accessible to more people, Tate Liverpool is as relevant now as at its conception 34 years ago; exchanging ideas, deep roots in the city and facing both home-grown and global communities. 

Since 2019, the gallery has shown work by ground-breaking US contemporary artists Theaster Gates and Arthur Jafa and staged the first major exhibition in the UK of artist and activist Keith Haring as well as of South Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho. More recently, Tate Liverpool responded to COVID-19 with an exhibition of portraits, created Aliza Nisenbaum, depicting NHS staff from Merseyside, and hosted the Tuner Prize 2022. 

Alongside its inspiring exhibition programme, the gallery has an established reputation for delivering high quality work within the city’s communities. Projects such as Tackling the Blues, Home from Home and ground-breaking work with prison education service Novus, see Tate Liverpool engaged in a range of initiatives to support skills and promote creativity, extending its influence beyond the walls of the gallery.   

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