Liverpool Crypt Prepares for Le Corbusier

UPDATE 19 September 2008. The story below is very old. The Le Corbusier exhibition is, of course, going ahead and set to open on 2 October 2008 in the crypt at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Excellent!

Original story..

From bdonline the Architects Website…

Liverpool fears for Corb event

The first major exhibition on Le Corbusier to be held in Britain for two decades could be cancelled unless worries over the venue are resolved.

The RIBA show, to be curated by the Switzerland-based Vitra Design Museum in October next year, is expected to be housed in the Lutyens-designed crypt of Liverpool Cathedral during its Capital of Culture celebrations next year. But Michel Richard, director of the Fondation Le Corbusier which owns the archives, warned that unless he was reassured about the space, the show could be cancelled or moved.

Engineer Buro Happold has now been drafted in to reduce the humidity in the crypt to museum levels. The show, which is travelling round Europe, opened in Rotterdam last week.

“I’ve been told Liverpool is programming special equipment to make things right, and we will be checking the situation, Richard said. “If we find the space is unacceptable, we will cancel it or find another place in Liverpool

He added that he had a responsibility to protect the archive: “This is my problem. Of course I’ll talk to the RIBA first, but I have ultimate responsibility for whether these exhibits are used.�?

But Charles Knevitt, director of the RIBA Trust, insisted the problems had been overcome. “We’ve had Buro Happold on the case, and are constantly monitoring the humidity, he said. “It’s a brilliant space. We’ll have a very dramatic contrast between a modernist white structure and the brick vaulted space [it sits in]

The RIBA is committing almost £1 million to bring the show to the UK — the first time the institute has backed a major exhibition unrelated to its own collection. The last time Le Corbusier was featured in Britain was at the Hayward gallery in 1987, a show that attracted 55,000 visitors. The RIBA estimates that more than double that number will visit the show in Liverpool.