The Burrell Collection

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Special Award

Michael Middleton Special Award

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Special Award

Region

Scotland

Local Authority Area

Glasgow City

Information about this scheme

The Burrell Collection is one of Europe’s finest museums, housing over 9,000 works of art in one of the very few Category-A listed post-war Scottish buildings.

Designed by Barry Gasson, Brit Andresen and John Meunier, The Burrell opened to acclaim in 1983, and was a Civic Trust Award winner in 1985, however in recent years the building had become unfit for purpose, with water ingress, poor energy performance, issues with accessibility, which was reflected in dwindling visitor numbers. Following a five-year renovation project, the museum has been revitalised without sacrificing its original character.

Repairs have been made to failing fabric, which have improved environmental performance. Interiors have been adapted to meet contemporary visitor needs; and connections to the surrounding Pollok Country Park have also been improved. A more accessible welcoming additional entrance has been added.

With key areas opened up, improving horizontal and vertical movements and legibility, whilst also creating an additional 35% of display space, allowing far greater access to the collection. The additional capacity also supports a new thematic curatorial approach, in which multimedia displays give historic context

to artworks. A redundant lecture theatre has been replaced with a triple-height central orientation hub, with stairs connecting the mezzanine galleries to the new viewable art stores, exhibition spaces and parkland on the lower floor. The new temporary exhibition spaces increase opportunities for repeat visits and income generation, whilst improved flexibility enables the museum to adapt with its changing needs, ensuring its future viability.

The landscape design has enhanced the original design’s intersection with the woodland, through providing new spaces for socialising and relaxation, including a café terrace and amphitheatre, whilst also greatly improving accessibility and legibility. Working closely with key heritage bodies, the building’s exterior was repaired with painstaking attention to the museum’s original architectural elements and materials, whilst also drastically improving the building’s envelope.

The renewed building has achieved BREEAM Excellent, putting it in the top 10% of energy efficient buildings in the UK, a significant achievement for a Category-A listed building. The Burrell whilst outwardly unchanged, has been restored and returned to the highest standards throughout, the twentieth- century masterpiece now fit for the twenty-first.

Judges’ Comments:

“The redevelopment of this iconic museum is impressive on every level – welcoming, sustainable, uplifting and calm.”

Credits

Architect

John McAslan + Partners

Landscape Architect

John McAslan + Partners

Client

Glasgow Life

Structural Engineer

David Narro Associates

Services Engineer

Atelier Ten

Fa├žade Engineering

Arup

Project Manager

Gardiner & Theobald

Cost Consultant

Gardiner & Theobald

Universal Design Consultant

David Bonnett Associates

Exhibition Consultant

Event Communication

Main Contractor

Kier

Acoustic Consultant

Sandy Brown Acoustics

Catering Consultant

Jo Headland

Retail Specialists

The Seeking State

Wayfinding Consultant

Studio LR

Primary Use Class

Class D1e - Museums