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Last edited 10 Feb 2022
The Burrell Collection opening date announcement
Reopening date announced for the Burrell Collection in Glasgow following major refurbishment
The A-listed home of The Burrell Collection in Pollok Country Park is now a modern, greener museum that will show more of the Collection to visitors and give access to over a third more of the building.
Kier Construction began works in 2018, making the space more accessible for visitors, adding a range of first-class facilities and carefully restoring and improving parts of the building, including the roof and windows to make it a more energy efficient. Works to the building fabric make it more air tight and water tight, and new glazing make it far less susceptible to changes in heat.
Upgrades of plant and systems means the building will be far more efficient, and able to take advantage of new technologies in the future to lessen its impact further. The project is realising a new, more sustainable future for The Burrell Collection and will keep searching for ways to improve the building’s performance further when it opens.
- Repairing and replacing the glazing and the roof to improve the thermal envelope performance by approximately 50%. This is critical for a museum due to the stringent temperature and humidity control needed for conservation.
- The new façade’s enhanced air permeability performance exceeds what’s expected of most new buildings.
- Enhancing the energy performance of key central plant items such as air handling units, pump sets and lighting controls.
- Installing new intelligent controls to result in ventilation based on demand, allowing the air handlers to slow down or switch off when air treatment is not required.
- Variable flow chilled and hot water distribution helping deliver water for heating and cooling as and when needed.
- New chillers with heat recovery reclaiming waste that would otherwise be disposed of in the atmosphere now being used to heat the entrance.
- A high degree of metering providing a better understanding of where energy is being used
- New low energy lighting systems and improved controls.
- More than 80 separate energy use monitors checking the performance of the building.
- World leading energy modelling experts, Integrated Environmental Solutions, will continue to model the most effective energy performance for ongoing sustainability post-opening.
- A large array of solar panels generates a peak electricity supply of 140kW to provide carbon-free power to both the building and electric vehicles in Pollok Country Park.
- New onsite energy storage through an integrated battery to maximise solar panel provision and to provide resilience.
- Display structures designed to be flexible and reusable making them more sustainable, but also easier to change in response to new research and audience interest. The displays include innovative digital elements such as video walls, interactives and hybrid systems created to help people engage with the stories behind the Collection.
Over and above the retention of the main superstructure, all materials removed from the building were recycled, including stainless steel cladding, insulation and all of the glass. Overall 3,120m2 of glass was removed from site and recycled. The estimated saving from this is 27.53 tonnes of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of driving between Glasgow and London 118 times.
These upgrades mean The Burrell Collection has achieved a BREEAM rating of Excellent putting the museum in the top 10 per cent of energy efficient buildings in the UK, a significant achievement for the refurbishment and conservation of a Category-A listed building.
The global pandemic halted works on site in spring 2020. Works then resumed when government guidelines allowed, and in order to meet Covid-19 safe working methods, the programme needed to be adapted and extended, to allow for trades to work sequentially on site.
Highlights of the Collection include Chinese pottery and porcelain produced over a 5,000-year period, making it one of the most significant collections of Chinese Art in Europe; paintings by renowned French artists including Manet, Cézanne and Degas; Medieval treasures including stained glass, arms and armour, and over 200 tapestries and carpets, which are among the finest in the world.
Sir William Burrell devoted more than 75 years of his life to amassing, along with his wife, Constance, Lady Burrell, one of the world’s greatest personal art collections. The Burrell Collection includes 9,000 objects in total spanning 6,000 years of history.
The Collection is home to the Wagner garden carpet which is one of the earliest surviving Persian garden carpets in the world, and has rarely been on public display since The Burrell Collection first opened in 1983. The museum’s refurbishment and redisplay means this priceless carpet will now be on long-term display, accompanied by new and innovative methods of interpretation.
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 its 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.”
Esther Dugdale, Creative Director of Event, said: “From leading the masterplan for the opening up of the building, to designing and delivering the refreshed exhibitions, working on The Burrell has been enormously rewarding. Our goal was to give visitors new opportunities to enjoy and fresh ways to appreciate the Collection, in harmony with The Burrell's seminal architecture and natural setting. The new interpretation offers inspiring perspectives on these remarkable objects, from their travels across the world to how they were created, and their importance to Sir William Burrell as a collector. Sustainability is key to the museum's transformation, the elegant new display system will protect the Collection, whilst providing the flexibility to move and reinterpret objects for decades to come."
Bill Ritchie, Director of Environmental Design Consultants, Atelier Ten, said: “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.”
David Logue, Partner, Gardiner & Theobald LLP, added: “G&T was appointed in early 2016 to lead the transformation of the Burrell Collection as Project Manager, Cost Manager and Principal Designer. We embarked on the redevelopment of this architecturally-important and physically-complex building, fully understanding the need for an intensely collaborative approach as part of the project team. We are proud to have helped deliver a publicly-engaging, accessible and environmentally-sophisticated Burrell experience that has re-energised this important cultural destination within the city.”
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The Burrell Collection is a place where everyone is welcome to appreciate one of the greatest personal collections ever assembled, housed in one of Scotland’s favourite modern buildings. Its A-listed home has been repaired and upgraded, its environmental performance has been dramatically improved, new displays have been created and thousands of local people were consulted about what they wanted to see. Visitors will be able to see more of the collection, more of the building itself and spend more time in Pollok Country Park. We look forward to welcoming the world to enjoy this spectacular museum.”
Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council said: “The Burrell Collection is one of Glasgow’s greatest treasures which deserves much greater recognition and appreciation around the world. The refurbishment of its A-listed home, which itself, is one of Scotland’s modern architectural triumphs, and the redisplay of The Collection will ensure visitors have an unforgettable experience and return time and again to appreciate the breath-taking beauty of the art on display. At the same time, the connection between the city and The Burrell Collection and Pollok Country Park will grow even stronger as a result of the museum reopening.”
Dr Bridget McConnell CBE, Chief Executive of Glasgow Life, said: “The re-opening of The Burrell Collection is another compelling reason for people to come to Glasgow to visit. It will be the catalyst for more people to visit the wonderful Pollok Country Park and other attractions on the south side of the city and to enjoy the glory of The Collection and its magnificent home. The Burrell Collection stands among the finest personal collections ever amassed and will bring people back many times to see it in the years to come.”
Nearly half of the funding for the £68.25 million project was committed by Glasgow City Council with more than a quarter coming from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and significant donations from The Scottish Government, the UK Government, and from many generous trusts and private donors.
On reopening, the museum’s gallery space will have increased by 35%, allowing important and unique objects from the Collection, which have not been seen for decades, or have never been on permanent display, to go on show.
A new central stairway will allow visitors access to the lower floor of The Burrell Collection for the first time where they can watch items not on display being cared for. A new temporary exhibition space has also been created. Similarly new galleries have been created on upper floors which will take visitors to spaces in the building they have never seen before.
The refurbishment of The Burrell Collection will bring more visitors to Pollok Country Park to enjoy its many attractions. Pollok Country Park’s Active Travel Management Plan, which has been developed alongside the building refurbishment, improves access to The Burrell Collection and wider park for visitors travelling by public transport, bike or on foot. This delivers an improved path network and associated signage, bike hire and bike racks, an electric shuttle bus and electric car charging points.
Since The Burrell Collection closed to the public in October 2016, a comprehensive consultation programme has engaged with more than 15,000 local people who have given their ideas, insights and opinions. This input has shaped every aspect of the redesign of the building, access to it and the development of the new displays, galleries and spaces within and around the museum.
The opening of The Burrell Collection in 1983 was one of the first demonstrations of Glasgow’s commitment to cultural-led regeneration. By harnessing the power of its incredible cultural draw, Glasgow has positioned itself as one of the world’s great cultural and creative cities, making it a must-visit destination.
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