Paisley - The Secret Collection

Collective Architecture Ltd

The purpose of this project is to create a new Accessible Museum Store for the collections of Renfrewshire Council Arts and Museums service. The store concept is part of a recent important nationwide shift in how public collections are being made more accessible to the public. With only a very small proportion of a collection being on public display at any one time, due to limited space within museums and art galleries, these ‘Accessible Stores’ allow behind-the-scenes access to individuals or groups to view the collections within their storage environment.

Collective Architecture worked closely with Renfrewshire Council to deliver this Accessible Museum Store. The state-of-the-art facility is uniquely set within an existing town centre property (a former Littlewoods department store) thus helping to revitalize the ailing High Street while providing excellent access with its location at the very centre of the town and a major train station within 5 minutes walk.

This refurbishment houses collections which include a vast archive of textiles, yarns and looms relating to the proud weaving history, extensive contemporary ceramics, natural history specimens, fine art, social history items and local archives in climate-controlled conditions. The building layout and accommodation facilitates visits for school groups, interested parties and researchers, thus opening up the full collection to the wider public. This enables a more complex and meaningful service for the public and curators alike, not previously possible under the old arrangements.


9 High Street
United Kingdom


Ewan Imrie
Project Architect


Renfrewshire Council


February 2011


2200 sq m

Contract Value



  • Arts