Glasgow museum nears reopening following £68m refurbishment

THE Burrell Collection is Glasgow is nearing its reopening following a £68 million refurbishment.

Kier Construction commenced works on the A-listed building in 2018 based on designs by John McAslan + Partners, following its closure in 2016. The A-listed home of The Burrell Collection is now set to reopen on March 29.

The works have seen the museum’s gallery space increase by 35%, allowing important and unique objects from the collection – which have not been seen for decades – to go on display.

New displays are also set to give visitors a better understanding of the international significance of The Burrell Collection’s artworks – which includes one of the earliest surviving Persian garden carpets in the world and Chinese pottery produced over a 5,000 year period – with displays to feature digital elements such as video walls and interactive and hybrid systems created to help people engage with the collection.

A new central stairway will allow visitors to access the lower floor of The Burrell Collection for the first time, where they can view items not on display being cared for as well as a new temporary exhibition space. New galleries have also been created on the upper floors which will take visitors to spaces not yet seen before.

The museum’s environmental performance is said to have been enhanced by ‘greatly improving’ the building’s exterior through a new roof, glazing and cladding, and by replacing power, heating and lighting systems with more efficient and sustainable technologies.

Changes made to the fabric of the building have looked to make it more air and water tight, while new glazing is described as making it far less susceptible to changes in heat. The building has achieved an industry standard BREEAM rating of excellent.

John McAslan, executive chair of John McAslan + Partners, said, “The Burrell Collection is one of Britain’s foremost cultural buildings of its time, an established part of Scotland’s architectural heritage, and a unique and popular cultural attraction. This project has transformed the building and its setting, within the context of its Grade A listing, to make it more sustainable and environmentally secure whilst retaining and enhancing its original architecture, offering additional gallery space and improving access to ensure a far greater proportion of the Collection can be enjoyed by all.

“The completed project will offer generations to come enriched experiences of this world-renowned Collection of art and artefacts from over 6,000 years of civilisation, in a museum environment that will welcome millions of visitors within its beautiful surroundings of Pollok Country Park.”

Bill Ritchie, director of environmental design consultants, Atellier Ten, added, “The refurbishment of The Burrell Collection has sensitively rejuvenated the museum by embracing many technical advances which were simply not at the disposal of the original designers. Advanced computer simulation has honed the specification of glass and fabric to ensure that the building relies less on outdated and energy consuming building services systems.

“Further modelling has examined sunpath and daylight patterns to ensure an optimal user experience whilst the collection is conserved in an environment that is closely controlled employing latest heat reclaim technology as well as a vast roof mounted photovoltaic array. The result is a building that works harder creating a more pleasant environment with a significantly lowered carbon footprint.”