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Swansea on Show

London is taking note as Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum features in a special exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Architect Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre, who designed the iconic building in Swansea’s Maritime Quarter, has been invited to stage an exhibition about his work after being elected as a Royal Academician.

Royal Academicians are among the greatest names in contemporary British art and are responsible for the government and direction of the Academy. The exhibition features three projects designed by Wilkinson Eyre, including the National Waterfront Museum.

“These three projects tell a story about how Wilkinson Eyre Architects make buildings, from conception to reality,” said Mr Wilkinson.

“The Mary Rose Museum is at a very early stage and only tells the first part of the story. King’s Waterfront in Liverpool, under construction, takes the story forward while the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea concludes it with a completed building. I have a strong belief that architecture has to be relevant to a site, so these projects are very site specific,” he added.

Wilkinson Eyre is one of the UK’s leading architectural practices, with a portfolio of national and international projects. The practice has won a series of awards including, uniquely, the RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture in two consecutive years.

The National Waterfront Museum, which opened October 2005, has already won awards for its design including a RIBA Award, a Civic Trust Award and The Lord Mayor’s Design Award.

Steph Mastoris, Head of the Museum, said: “It is fantastic that Swansea is being recognised in this way. The project team is to be congratulated for choosing a quality architect who has delivered such a superb building.”

The Museum comprises of a refurbished listed warehouse alongside contemporary new-build galleries, clad in glass and slate, which provide light and lofty spaces for larger exhibits. It tells the story of the past, present and future of Welsh industry, and aims to provide the community with free, open access.

The exhibition at the Royal Academy runs until 13 November 2006, and Chris Wilkinson will give a lecture at the RA at 6.30 pm on Monday 9 October. An interview with Chris Wilkinson, which includes a discussion of the National Waterfront Museum project, can be seen on the website at

The National Waterfront Museum belongs to Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, which operates seven national museums across Wales. These are National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans: National History Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.

Entry to all Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales sites is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.