3XN's design for £65m Museum of Liverpool is chosen ahead of plans by Daniel Libeskind and Zaha Hadid.

Danish architect 3XN has seen off competition from a shortlist of world famous architects to come up with a new scheme for the Fourth Grace site in Liverpool.

3XN saw off Ground Zero architect Daniel Libeskind and Pritzker Prize-winning Zaha Hadid to work up plans for the new £65m Museum of Liverpool. It will stand on the same site as Will Alsop’s Cloud, which was shelved last July.

Client National Museums Liverpool is understood to have been seeking a safe pair of hands for what is a highly sensitive site, after the Fourth Grace scheme hit trouble for going over budget.

A Museums Liverpool spokesperson said 3XN fitted the judging criteria on reliability.

She said: “They have done lots of cultural buildings before and are very good at keeping to tight timescales and tight budgets.”

Time and cost guidelines are critical if the museum is to be built by 2008, when Liverpool is Capital of Culture. The project also faces a nerve-wracking six months until it is assured of funding.

The project team will find out on 27 January whether it will receive initial Objective One funding from the EU to finance pre-development costs. If it does, the North West Development Agency has agreed to match this funding.

The scheme then faces a race against time to prepare its pitch to receive funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in June, when it will pitch for resources to build the scheme.

3XN will be released at the end of the month if Objective One funding is not forthcoming.

Other firms to make the shortlist included British architects David Chipperfield and Austin Smith-Lord.

3XN was founded in 1986 by Kim Herforth Nielsen and is known for working overseas, particularly in the cultural, corporate and educational sectors. Among its more celebrated works is the Royal Danish Embassy in Berlin.


Will Alsop’s vision of a joining up the North of England via a “Supercity” will be unveiled at the Urbis centre for contemporary culture in Manchester this month.