THE museum built to house Glasgow’s world-famous Burrell art treasures has been given A-list status by Historic Scotland.
The building – which this year marks its 30th anniversary – is in Pollok Country Park and houses the huge collection of paintings, sculptures and decorative art assembled by city-born shipping magnate and philanthropist Sir William Burrell. He gifted the entire collection of more than 8,000 objects in 1944 to the then Glasgow Corporation.
In 1970 the corporation launched a design competition to for a bespoke building to permanently house the collection. It attracted 242 entries and two years later, the design by architects Gasson, Anderson and Meunier was selected, but work did not get under way until 1978 and the building opened to the public in 1983.
The four-storey structure, built at a cost of £16.5m, is run by Glasgow Life on behalf of the city council. It is regarded as “a rare and significant post-war commission” for a museum building in Scotland and is described as an influential example of a large public architectural commission in the UK.
A-listing is for buildings of national or international importance and only 8% of listed buildings have the distinction.
Clare Price, conservation advisor with amenity organisation The Twentieth Century Society, commented: “We believe The Burrell Collection represents a unique contribution to twentieth century architecture in Scotland and to museum design internationally. The building’s strength lies in its design: complementing the collection rather than competing with it, its sensitive palette of materials allowing it to blend with the landscape.”