U-534 Visitor Centre

We were commissioned to create a visitor centre around a decommissioned German U-boat U-534 which has been rescued by Merseytravel. One of only four remaining in the world, the centre is now open to the public on Liverpool Docks.

Jefferson Sheard worked with Merseytravel and Real Studios to design the visitor exhibition centre. The ship is now the star attraction of the centre and includes various interactive exhibits, audio visual shows and interpretative materials that fully explain the story of theU-534. The U Boat forms part of the purpose built visitor centre, an extension to the existing ferry terminal.

The main design challenge was the relocation of ‘U-534'. For technical reasons the boat was cut into sections for transportation by water to its new site using a floating crane. These separate sections have been finished with glazed panels over the end of each section which allows visitors to see inside the submarine from specially built viewing platforms.

Movement within the space is created by means of a number of ramps which allow the visitor to engage with the submarine but also offers full access to all areas.

Formerly part of the Historic Warships Museum on Merseyside, the U-534 scheme complements the wider regeneration of the Woodside area.

“The U-boat Story is a £5m attraction telling the story of World War II German submarine U-534. You will see into the cross-sectioned submarine and discover its amazing story through a highly interactive and exciting exhibition”


  • Culture & Civic