Canning Dock, Liverpool Waterfront

Place narrative
Waterfront placemaking

Revealing stories of global transatlantic slave trade and local identity through public space



Commemoration, memorial making sit alongside celebration and repair in this complex and prominent site on Liverpool Waterfront. The Waterfront Transformation: Canning Dock project, is part of National Museums Liverpool‘s 10-year plan to transform the city’s waterfront. It intends to revitalise the complex site, which was used in the 18th century to serve and repair ships including those used in the transatlantic slave trade. Canning Dock represents one of the most important racialised sites in the UK, with a story yet to be fully told.


“For National Museums Liverpool we have formed a different kind of design team – not simply to deliver a project, but to steward a significantly meaningful one into being. This new piece of history will welcome voices from across Liverpool and globally from the places and people connected with Canning Dock.” Asif Khan

Commissioned to unpack narrative and develop co-production strategies for Canning Dock, The Place Bureau are working with the opportunity to pull together the threads that make up the history of the transatlantic slave trade – from Africa, across the Atlantic to the US and back to Liverpool — while recognising that to live on, we need to create a place that the public can explore, enliven and firmly face towards the future. Working with museum curators and local creative community partners, we are spearheading how this complex and significant story is told and experienced in these spaces by the people of Liverpool.

  • Asif Khan
  • Adjaye Associates
  • Atelier Masomi
  • Prior + Partners
  • National Museums Liverpool
  • Theaster Gates
  • Squash Liverpool
  • Writing on the Wall
  • Twenty Stories High