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Design team sought for Burrell refurbishment following £15m HLF grant

May 20 2015

Design team sought for Burrell refurbishment following £15m HLF grant
A comprehensive modernisation programme for Glasgow’s Burrell Collection has received a £15m boost courtesy of the Heritage Lottery Fund, enabling Glasgow City Council to begin the work of procuring a design team.

A £66m refurbishment of the eighties built venue is required to make the building watertight whilst enhancing and extending existing displays and facilities.

This will see a new roof and high performance glazing installed together with the creation of two new floors of exhibition space and an opening up of basement stores to the public.

Once complete this will increase the proportion of 8,000 objects which can be put on display at any one time from 20 to 90 per cent, whilst also incorporating a new entrance, café and learning space.

Sir Angus Grossart, chairman of Burrell Renaissance, commented: “We have been working hard to liberate the great potential of the Burrell Collection and for Sir William’s great gift to be placed on a global stage. It is key that we provide a home worthy of these incredible treasures and their influence.”

The revamp has been master planned by Event Communications.


Big Chantelle
#1 Posted by Big Chantelle on 20 May 2015 at 21:04 PM
This building is abysmal -- it should be demolished and the 16th-century stone archway kept and the museum rebuilt in the Romanesque style of the original building -- it never worked as a museum or public building, it is an over warm large greenhouse and thus, architecturally, was a complete failure. But hey ho, it's a 'masterpiece'. Yep.

You liberal leftie modernists like to romanticise about your modernist past pretending this buildings is somehow important and 'great' and a gift to humanity.

The Sistine chapel ceiling is great. The halls of Versailles are great. The Colosseum is great (and a ruin worthy of remaining).

This glass concrete column atrocity is testament to a time when the leftie glass modernist brigade started deconstructung Scotland of its beauty to impose their concrete liberal vision onto society -- The roofs leak, the concrete stains, and ruins the art pieces in the building because it is so poorly designed, yet you all sit here teary eyed talking about its abstract wonder.

Rip it down. It is a travesty that nearly £15 million is being spend to indulge the fantasies of lefties when so many other genuinely great buildings and institutions could really benefit from financial help.
#2 Posted by Billy on 20 May 2015 at 22:18 PM
I also think this building is a shed , a monstrosity. An insult to the treasures inside And to Burrell. I agree demolish. Tourists must think... Why?
#3 Posted by modernish on 21 May 2015 at 08:35 AM
Great news, it will be brilliant to visit the Burrell again. Beautiful restrained spaces providing an idyllic setting for the collection. A genuine example of two elements coming together to create something greater than the sum of their parts. Big Chantelle - as ever thanks for you contribution, it is duly noted. It's a shame most of it is cut and paste from the article regarding St.Peters. That being said, I appreciate the irony of you doing this creating a pastiche of your original post...that is really rather sophisticated.
#4 Posted by james on 21 May 2015 at 09:27 AM
Ha! One of my favourite buildings (and there are not a lot). The experience of visiting and revisiting the Burrell is always wonderful and I find it a modest, understated 'styleless' building for the excesses of the 80s.

I love the juxtaposition of the priceless artefacts against the backdrop of mixed woodland and the materials used throughout. There is a rare sense of place here and an unquantifiable stillness throughout. For me, it is a purposeful 'readable' building for users that incorporates and shows the exhibits to their best and the building is a backdrop to the artefacts and woodland setting, which is only how it should be. Barry Gasson of Auchentiber I just want to thank you for your veritable heist, really.

And the building costs will have been repaid many times over in terms of tourist dollas. Finally, so what if the roof leaked? That is sortable. Unlike Buckingham Palace, I don't primarily visit the Burrell for 'shelter'.
I read the above posts with incredulity and wonder if we are on the same planet. Apparently not.

#5 Posted by Sven on 21 May 2015 at 11:16 AM
"A £66m refurbishment of the eighties built venue is required to make the building watertight whilst enhancing and extending existing displays and facilities."

It must be cheaper to rebuild the museum.

Whilst it looks like a shopping mall the building is a good house for the collection bringing the outside woodland feel inside we should look at a rebuild or moving the collection. The old high school in Edinburgh would make a very decent home for it and more tourists would visit it than some far away suburb of rain soaked Glasgow.
#6 Posted by james on 21 May 2015 at 11:43 AM
Dear Sven,
For 'It must be cheaper to rebuild the museum.' read 'They're moving father's grave to build a sewer.'
It's all a question of values init?
I for one find this reductive 'financial' argument truly meaningless.
ps by the way, (as that's how us wegies talk), 'rain soaked' should be hyphenated and while I'm at it, just exactly how big is your Glaswegian fan club? ;-)
Auntie Nairn
#7 Posted by Auntie Nairn on 21 May 2015 at 14:22 PM
Have to agree with james' post #4 - First visited this amazing collection as a student and was astounded at the relationship between the exhibits, the interior and the landscape - masterful, subtle and an eloquent lesson in how it should be done.
Sure, the container is almost irrelevant, but this is real functional Architecture designed from the inside out.
#8 Posted by Sven on 21 May 2015 at 16:39 PM
"I for one find this reductive 'financial' argument truly meaningless."

Money is key to architecture. It allows you to buy premium materials that last, buy good builders, buy good architects, buy good ongoing maintenance.

£66 million pounds for a refurbishment and repair is shatteringly expensive. If a true amount then the trustees really should look at relocating the museum somewhere less climatically challenged and has is a world renown centre for the arts.

"Sure container is almost irrelevant, but this is real functional Architecture designed from the inside out."

I agree with every word and that is the basis of good architecture: does it do what it is supposed to do. The current building is fine but £66 million is required to refurbish it so you have to ask yourself is it such a good building and by extension good architecture if it needs such a large amount of money spent on it after just 30 years?

Glasgow has always destroyed its history, hence there are literally a handful of pre-1800 buildings left in Glasgow and many more buildings at risk. Can we really trust such a place with the Burrell Collection? They did nothing with the collection for decades then had a decent go at building a suitable building for it but one that has lasted less than 30 years. One wonders what silent damage has occurred to the collection over the years.
Nairn's Bairn
#9 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 21 May 2015 at 18:08 PM
As has been said above, although some of the external elements may seem dated, it's all about the interior here. When you walk about the building you're enveloped in warm stonework, plaster and of course the landscape. It's one of my favourite buildings ever, and always a joy to be in. The internal layout, materials and connection to the outside have not dated at all, in fact are a masterclass in how to do it. I've been there at least 30 times, and have never walked around the outside looking at the building - that's not what it's about. It WORKS.
#10 Posted by neil on 21 May 2015 at 19:09 PM
What no-one seems to be noting is the £66m is not just to fix the roof - it is to significantly enlarge the exhibition areas. And yes, it is beautiful inside - a perfect setting for it's contents - and well positioned on the site.

The challenge always is it is easier to get a large sum for a big refurbishment than the long term funding to keep up regular maintenance.
#11 Posted by james on 22 May 2015 at 05:06 AM
#8 Dear Sven,
I think you'll find that in your desire to relocate The Burrell Collection to a less 'climatically-challenged' Edinburgh you may have overlooked one small , but overwhelmingly big fat fact, which is that Sir Willliam Burrell bequeathed his collection to the City of Glasgow. Not to worry, it's only a small matter of sorting out the legals. That'll cost a bob or two!

I have no doubt you are well-meaning and all that, but I do find the faux hubris of your last paragraph a tad on the defamatory side. Let's hope Gordon Matheson's heavies haven't read your contribution. All the best ;-)
Big Chantelle
#12 Posted by Big Chantelle on 22 May 2015 at 13:52 PM
Post #1 was by an imposter. It wasn't me. Yawn. Urban Realm -- why are you allowing people to hijack identities and make posts designed to stir up trouble? You have my email -- compare it to the one in post #1. You know it's someone playing games. And yet again, Big Chantelle gets impersonated (not in a flattering way) and my name gets used to stir up trouble. FFS.
Big Chantelle
#13 Posted by Big Chantelle on 22 May 2015 at 13:54 PM
@modernish -- I haven't cut and pasted anything. The person impersonating me has. Did that ever cross your mind? If I wanted to opine about this building, do you not think I'd em, just do that with a unique comment? Urban Realm should be removing the posts but probably won't.
#14 Posted by modernish on 22 May 2015 at 15:45 PM
@#13 - in that case I stand corrected and apologise. Pity, because it was quite a sophisticatedly ironic. I should have known though, irony is a bit left wing!

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