Burrell Collection, Museum Refurbishment, Photo, Architect, Architecture, Location, JMP Design

Burrell Museum Building

Renewal of Modern Building in Glasgow, Scotland – original design by Barry Gasson, Brit Andersson

7 Jun 2017

Letter from an Original Burrell Architect

John Meunier Questions Burrell Redevelopment

John Meunier, one of the architects behind Glasgow’s A-listed Burrell Museum now emeritus professor of architecture at Arizona State University, has issued an 11th hour plea to John McAslan + Partners to re-think their plans despite approval already having been granted by Glasgow City Council.

The £66m project has been necessitated to carry out urgent repairs to the ailing 1983 structure which has been hit by extensive water ingress through the roof, presenting an opportunity to greatly increase the display space on offer as part of these works, allowing 90 per cent of the 9,000 objects to go on display – four times the number which can be put on show currently.

To achieve this however architect John McAslan proposes significant alterations to the building fabric, principally the main entrance and Hutton Rooms, sparking fears that the buildings status as a 2oth century landmark could be imperiled.

In a letter to the architects John Meunier wrote: “The issue for me is the long term and whether it retains its status as one of the best 20th century works of architecture in Scotland, superbly matching the architecture to the works of art, while continuing to honour the intentions of its progenitor (William Burrell).

“For it to do that a lot more has to be retained, including the extended entry sequence of graduated spaces, and the programmatic requirement of the will that the restored Hutton Rooms be retained.

“There is obviously a lot more to discuss, including the careful insertion of elevators as all three levels come into play, but my main message is to mess around with the basic, experience, logic and composition of the original building as little as possible, and to exercise architectural creativity to meet your new goals in a way that sustains the material and formal language of the original.”

John McAslan + Partners rebuff the approach stating that the changes are ‘required’ to arrest a decline in visitor numbers. Paddy Pugh, director of conservation and planning for the architecture practice, responded: “Beyond repairing/replacing the roofs, facades and building services, the principle architectural changes are designed to improve access into and around the building.”

23 + 20 Apr 2017

Burrell Renewal Planning News

Burrell Redevelopment Wins Planning Permission

John McAslan + Partners receives planning permission for their overhaul of Glasgow’s Burrell Collection.

Burrell Collection design by JMP

Redeveloped interior:
Burrell Collection design by JMP

John McAslan + Partners was appointed to develop a masterplan which would enhance the celebrated Burrell Collection, with its spectacular setting in Pollok Park. Completed in 1983, the Burrell’s vast collection of art and artefacts is world-renowned.

Burrell Collection design by JMP

However, in recent years the Museum’s attendances have been declining year on year and the aim of this project was to develop a long-term strategy to address and reverse this position, returning the Burrell to its pre-eminent position as a world-class cultural institution.

Glasgow's Burrell Collection design by JMP

source: Burrell Museum Building Renewal

13 Mar 2017

Burrell Collection Refurbishment News

Burrell Collection Refurbishment – Planning Submission

As first reported on this page in March 2016, this is a major project for the practice in the city where John grew up.

McAslan + Partners have lodged long-awaited proposals for a major overhaul of the Burrell Gallery in Pollok Country Park, Glasgow, to safeguard its long-term future.

Planning Ref.
External fabric repairs and alterations, refurbishment of the Burrell Gallery including surrounding landscape improvements.
The Burrell Collection Pollok Country Park 2060 Pollokshaws Road Glasgow G43 1AT

Design & Access Statement – Executive Summary

The Burrell Gallery sits within Pollok Country Park four miles from the centre of Glasgow. The building was specifically designed to display, conserve and house a collection of some 9,000 objects of art and antiquities gifted to the city by one of its most successful sons, Sir William Burrell. The collection is of national importance and the building, which opened to the public in October 1983, is listed at Category A signalling that is of exceptional architectural and historic interest.

Modern conservation thinking stresses that a building’s importance may go beyond its architectural or historic interest. Significance is a concept first advocated by ICOMOS for the management of World Heritage Sites and now endorsed by the UK’s historic environment sector. It aims to provide a full, rounded understanding of why an historic building is important and to whom. Notwithstanding its architectural triumph, the significance of The Burrell rests primarily in its use as a public, cultural building specifically designed to display a particular collection gifted to the City of Glasgow.

The building is now in need of a major overhaul and refurbishment in order to safeguard its long term future and significance.

Three major issues are evident.

1. In certain areas the external envelope is failing causing serious problems of water and light penetration.
2. All services are worn out.
3. In some regards, particularly access and museological standards, The Burrell no longer meets modern standards or visitor expectations.

This Design and Access Statement accompanies applications for listed building consent and planning permission to address all of these issues and secure the Burrell’s long term future as a major cultural asset for the City. It has been prepared by John McAslan + Partners on behalf of Glasgow Life, custodians for The Burrell.

Also submitted as background information is a Draft Conservation Management Plan, Statement of Significance and outline cost summary.

The proposals have been prepared after close examination of the original architect’s drawings and constructive discussions with the Burrell Trustees, Historic Environment Scotland, Glasgow City Council’s Planning and Conservation Team, The Twentieth Century Society and DoCoMoMo.

Discussions with the original architects have helped us understand the design intent and development for the building. The Burrell Renaissance Board has provided strategic guidance and the Heritage Lottery Fund continue to offer in principle support for the project although its decision on the grant aid will not be made until the autumn.

Design Team for Burrell Renaissance Project:

Gardiner + Theobald: Project Managers
Gardiner + Theobald: Cost Consultant
John McAslan + Partners: Architect
John McAslan + Partners: Conservation Advice
John McAslan + Partners: Landscape Architect
Atelier Ten: MEP Consultant
Atelier Ten: Sustainability Consultant
Atelier Ten: Fire Consultant
David Narro Associates: Structural Engineer
Arup: Facade Consultant
David Bonnett Associates: Access Consultant
Event Communications: Exhibition Designers

Regular, constructive discussions and workshops with Glasgow Life have enabled the design team to prepare proposals which meet the client’s brief in addition to the statutory requirements. We are fully confident that these proposals will safeguard the future of one of Scotland’s most important historic buildings in the cultural use for which it was designed.

source: Burrell Collection Refurbishment Planning Application

4 + 3 Mar 2016

Burrell Museum Renewal News

Architect for Burrell Collection Refurbishment


Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee today confirmed the appointment of Gardiner & Theobald LLP with John
McAslan + Partners and Event Communications to take forward the Burrell Collection’s ambitious refurbishment and
redisplay plans.

Gardiner & Theobald has been appointed to undertake the Project Management with John McAslan + Partners as
Architect and Lead Designer for the refurbishment of the building, whilst Event Communications has been appointed to
deliver exhibition and interpretative design across the Burrell’s galleries.

Burrell Museum Building Glasgow

The refurbishment project will see the museum undergo its most comprehensive modernisation since opening to
international acclaim in 1983. The building, which is no longer fit for purpose, will be turned into an exemplar of
sustainability, transforming it from a building with a large carbon footprint, into an energy efficient, modern museum.
In addition, plans will allow a much greater proportion of the Collection to be displayed. Basement stores, open to the
public for the first time, and a new central core will greatly increase access for visitors to the many artworks. Visitors will
also benefit from a new learning space, and improved café and retail opportunities, while landscaped terraces will be
introduced to link the museum with its parkland setting, providing a venue for events.

More than two-thirds of the fundraising target of £60 million to £66 million has been pledged to date with support from
Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the UK Government.

A total of 113 suppliers expressed an interest in the tender for the Project Management led Architectural and Building
Design Team, with a further 57 suppliers expressing an interest in Exhibition Design Team Services. Council officials
carried out a pre-evaulation stage, with Gardiner & Theobald LLP, John McAslan + Partners and Event Communications
selected from an impressive shortlist.

Councillor Archie Graham, the Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Sir William’s
great gift is of huge cultural importance both at home and abroad and we have a moral duty to protect and promote his
outstanding legacy. Today’s announcement marks an important milestone for the development of the Burrell Collection,
as we work to unlock its great potential. The appointment of world-leading practices in architecture, project management
and exhibition design shows, yet again, our commitment to the city’s cultural treasures. In just a few years’ time, Sir
William’s passion and lifelong commitment to building his collection will be honoured by being housed in a museum
worthy of its unrivalled status.”

Sir Angus Grossart, commented: “The brief is challenging in combining the refurbishment of an iconic building with
ambitions to vitalise visitor engagement with the world-class Collection. It is an excellent foundation on which to optimise
the Burrell’s potential whilst retaining the character and strengths of the building. The appointments of Gardiner
& Theobald LLP, John McAslan + Partners, and Event Communications, promises a new chapter for the Burrell

James Robinson, Director of Burrell Renaissance said: “We would like to thank all those who took part in the process. The
appointed design teams show a great understanding and confidence in their ability to create innovative solutions that will
allow us to open up the Collection whilst maintaining the quality and integrity of the existing building. We are delighted
that the appointed design teams have the breadth of expertise to deliver an integrated response at a world-class level.”

David Logue, Senior Partner, Scotland, at Gardiner & Theobald LLP said: “Today’s announcement marks an important
milestone for the Burrell Collection and we’re delighted to be a part of it. The proposed solutions will look towards the
importance of sustainability and accessibility, whilst speaking to the importance of the Collection’s contents.”

John McAslan, Executive Chairman of John McAslan + Partners commented: “With its distinctive presence and unique
blend of artefacts with architecture, we are delighted to be appointed Architect and Lead Designer for this project and to
be given the opportunity to work with the Burrell Collection as it becomes an exemplar for a 21st century museum.”
And James Alexander, Chief Executive of Event Communications said: “The wide-ranging support the project has received
is testament to its national and international significance while its transformative potential is acknowledged across the
UK cultural sector. We are thrilled with today’s appointment and look forward to working collaboratively on this unique

The teams will begin developing the scope for the refurbishment and redisplay from April 2016, with building work set to
commence from October 2016.

A programme of events and activities leading up to October 2016 will give the public the opportunity to see and engage
with treasures from the Collection before refurbishment begins after which an exhibition of works from the Burrell will be
on display at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow, allowing continued access to citizens and visitors alike.

Burrell Museum Redevelopment Background

Burrell Collection Refurbishment Design Teams

Burrell Collection Renewal Project Management and Building Design Team

– Gardiner Theobald LLP, Project Management and Quantity Surveyor
– John McAslan + Partners, Architect and Lead Designer
– David Narro Associates, Civil and Structural Engineers
– Atelier Ten, Building Services and Fire Engineers

Gardiner & Theobald LLP are currently working on the Kelvin Hall project and the Mackintosh Restoration project in
Glasgow and have a long established track record of working on projects within the arts and heritage sector including
the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015); Royal Museum Project at The National Museum of Scotland
(2012); Cutty Sark Conservation Project, London (2012); Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, (2009) and Imperial War
Museum North, Manchester (2002) to name a few.

John McAslan + Partners’ UK cultural projects include Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (2014), the Natural History
Museum (2013) and the Roundhouse (2006), both in London, and De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea (2008). The
practice’s international cultural projects currently underway include the Cultural Forum and Heritage Quarter Houses,
both in Doha, the Museum of Russian Impressionism in Moscow and the Royal British Columbia Museum in Canada.
Beyond its work in the cultural sector, the practice is best known for its celebrated transformation of London’s King’s
Cross Station, completed in 2012.

Burrell Collection Renewal Exhibition Design Team

– Event Communications, Design and Design Management
– Max Fordham, Electrical Engineers
– David Narro Associates, Structural Engineers
– Greenway Associates, Cost Consultants
– DHA Design Services, Display Lighting

The work of Event Communications within the arts and heritage sector can be seen at locations worldwide including at
the Zayed National Museum, Abu Dhabi (2014), Riverside Museum, Glasgow (European Museum of the Year, 2013),
Titanic Belfast (2012), National Maritime Museum, Amsterdam (2011), Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum (2006) and
the Imperial War Museum North, Manchester (2002).

The Burrell Collection

The Burrell Collection is a major cultural asset for the City of Glasgow and the nation, and is of international significance.
The largest single collection area is Chinese art with objects from every major period in Chinese history. The Collection
also includes significant Late Gothic and Early Renaissance works of art from Northern Europe, with tapestries, stained
glass, sculpture and furniture, as well as an excellent collection of French art. Other strong areas of the Collection
include Dutch paintings, British portraits, Islamic art, Persian, Caucasian and Indian rugs and carpets, and Near
Eastern, Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities.

The Collection, which reflects Sir William Burrell’s lifelong passion for art and history, was donated to the City of Glasgow
by Sir William and Lady Burrell. The decision to gift the Collection to Sir William’s home city is the largest single gift of art
treasures by one man to one city.

From October 2016 works will commence on the refurbishment of the Grade A category building and redisplay of the
Burrell Collection, creating a new visitor experience. At present, only some 20 per cent of the exceptional Collection is on
display. Refurbishment plans will turn the building into an exemplar of sustainability, transforming it from a building with
a large carbon footprint, into an energy efficient, modern museum.

In addition, more than 90 per cent of the 9,000-strong Collection will be redisplayed with basement stores open to the
public for the first time, and a new central core greatly increasing access to the many artworks.

John McAslan + Partners

29 Feb 2016

Burrell Museum Renewal Architects

Architect for Burrell Collection Refurbishment

John McAslan and Partners has been recommended to progress the renewal of the Burrell Collection museum in Glasgow.

Glasgow City Council’s executive committee is to meet this Thursday to consider the appointment of the practice and Gardiner & Theobald LLP as the Project Management led Architectural and Building Design Team. A design company, Event Communications, will also be recommended to be the museum’s exhibition designers.

The refurbishment, estimated at £60m-£66m, will see the fabric of the building repaired and conserved, rendering the museum a benchmark for accessibility and sustainability. The plans will also allow a much greater proportion of the Collection to be displayed, with the museum’s basement stores remodeled to allow public access for the first time, with capacity for a programme of changing Collection highlights. A new learning centre, improved facilities and landscaping linking the museum to its parkland setting will also deliver a new visitor experience.

A total of 113 suppliers expressed an interest in the tender for the Project Management led Architectural and Building Design Team, with a further 57 suppliers expressing an interest in Exhibition Design Team Services.

Following a pre-evaluation stage, six suppliers submitted a valid tender for Project Management led Architectural and Building Design:

– Buro Four with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
– Doig + Smith with Dixon Jones
– Gardiner & Theobald LLP with John McAslan + Partners
– Mace with Reiach and Hall
– Mott MacDonald with Page \ Park Architects
– Turner & Townsend with Hoskins Architects

3 Dec + 25 Nov 2015

Burrell Museum Renewal

Burrell Collection Refurbishment
Glasgow’s Burrell Collection is currently due to close for three years as it undergoes a £66m revamp., reports the Glasgow Evening Times today. The world famous, A-listed building in the city’s south side needs a new roof, new glazing and a major internal refit. Glasgow City Council has already agreed to fund half of the cost of the building refurbishment with the Heritage Lottery Fund pledging a further £15m to the target.

The Renaissance plan will see a completely new roof, a significant reordering of its internal displays, and the opening up of its basement into a new floor, as well as a new outdoor space.

When it re-opens the Burrell museum will be able to display more than 90% of the 9000-strong collection collected by the shipping magnate. It is expected that the museum will close in October 2016 and open again in 2019.

Burrell Museum

Architects: Sir Barry Gasson, Brit Andersson & others

Burrell Museum
photo © Adrian Welch

Address: 2060 Pollokshaws Rd, Glasgow G43 1AT

Phone: 0141 287 2550

Photos of building exterior from 3 Mar 2011:

The Burrell Museum The Burrell Museum The Burrell Museum
photographs © Isabelle Lomholt

Burrell Collection

Photos of exterior from 3 Mar 2011:

Burrell Museum Burrell Museum Glasgow The Burrell Museum Building The Burrell Museum
photographs © Adrian Welch

One of Glasgow’s best buildings of the 20th century, this project had a big influence on many architects in the eighties.

Burrell Museum Opening Times (check with The Burrell):
Mon-Thu & Sat 10am-5pm, Fri & Sun 11am-5pm
Address: The Burrell Collection, 2060 Pollokshaws Road Glasgow
Gallery, toilets and the café are wheelchair-accessible and there are disabled parking bays.
Contact The Burrell Collection: 0141 287 2550

The Burrell Museum The Burrell Museum Glasgow The Burrell Museum Building The Burrell Museum Building Glasgow
photographs © Adrian Welch

The Burrell Collection (The Burrell Museum), Pollok Country Park, Glasgow
Sir Barry Gasson with Brit Andresen
Charles Burrell Museum

1971; 1978-83

Burrell Museum – Architecture
Glasgow’s major attraction, the Burrell Museum, is a Collection amassed by wealthy industrialist Sir William Burrell ship owner and art collector, before it was donated to the city in 1944. After much wrangling over where the collection should be located, it was, in 1963, finally agreed that it should be housed in a purpose-designed Museum building in Pollok Country Park, 5km south of the city centre.

The Burrell Museum The Burrell Museum Glasgow The Burrell Museum Building The Burrell Museum Building Glasgow
photographs © Adrian Welch

This idiosyncratic collection includes everything from Chinese porcelain and medieval furniture to paintings by Renoir and Cézanne. Carpeted floors maintain the silence to contemplate the beautifully displayed treasures. Carved-stone Romanesque doorways are incorporated into the Burrell Museum’s structure as portals; some galleries are reconstructions of rooms from Hutton Castle, the Burrell residence.

The Burrell Museum was the result of a design competition in 1971. If it had not been run during a postal strike, necessitating an extension of the closing deadline, Barry Gasson’s winning entry (out of 242 entrants, announced 1972) would not have been completed. The initial design for the Burrell Museum is the result of the collaboration between Barry Gasson and Brit Andresen*. Construction of the gallery began in 1978 by Barry Gasson Architects and was completed and opened to the public in 1983.

The Burrell Museum The Burrell Museum Glasgow The Burrell Museum Building The Burrell Museum Building Glasgow
photographs © Adrian Welch

The building forms a huge L-shape, with entry from the south (into one end of the ‘L’ on axis) through a 13-foot high 16th-century archway into the glazed courtyard of the gallery. The Burrell Collection is formed of huge unadorned facades of ashlared Locharbriggs red sandstone, peeled away in zones for glazing. The windows are not expressed: instead the glass folds with the eaves and forms a smooth envelope supported on rational steel and timber portal structures at close centres – there is nothing light about this project. This makes the building seem sombre amongst the trees, and even where the lawns open out, the landscape is controlled into terraces.

Thus the unarticulated building and the formal merciless grass temper the original site’s irregularities and create a powerful, rationalist whole. There is no doubting the Burrell Museum’s formal power, but the lack of interaction with nature, between inside and out, makes the Burrell a difficult building to swallow.

Views from south and east:
The Burrell Museum The Burrell Museum Building The Burrell Museum Building Glasgow
photographs © Adrian Welch

The entrance to the collection itself is the Hornby portico, a 26-feet high English Renaissance doorway which weighs 26 tons. The Burrell Museum incorporates reproductions of three rooms from Hutton Castle, near Berwick-on-Tweed, where Sir William and Lady Burrell moved in 1927. These are the drawing room, hall, and dining room, each furnished in the original manner and with some original woodwork. The building has storage for the many items from the collection not on display, a restaurant, lecture theatre, children’s activities space, library, photographic studio, and living quarters for visiting scholars.

The £21m Burrell Museum and its collection of around 8,000 works of art put Glasgow on the international cultural map. Some have claimed that the collection contributed significantly to Glasgow’s European City of Culture Award in 1990.

Burrell Collection Glasgow The Burrell Museum
Burrell Museum: images © Adrian Welch, 2000

*Gasson, Meunier and Anderson were all from Cambridge University School of Architecture. Barry Gasson and Brit Andresen were teaching architecture together at Cambridge from 1970-83, and designed Stage One of the competition for the Burrell Museum Competition. [Barry Gasson and John Meunier were in partnership at that time but John Meunier was not involved in the design]. Barry Gasson, now an OBE, was the young team leader and seems to be unlocateable overseas, notably since the problems with the roof leaking occurred. Gasson, was a graduate of Birmingham School of Architecture. After a year in private practice Barry was awarded an English Speaking Union Fellowship to Columbia University in New York for two years. This was followed by two years in the Park Avenue architectural practice of Philip Johnson where projects he worked on included a ballet theatre for the Lincoln Centre, an extension to the New York Museum of Modern Art, and laboratories for Yale University.

Six months before the museum was due to open Gasson received the Royal Scottish Academy Gold Medal for Architecture for his design of the Burrell Museum. Brit Andresen is Architect and Associate Professor and Reader, Architecture Department, University of Queensland and was the RAIA (Royal Australian Institute of Architects) 2002 Gold Medal winner. John Meunier went on to the US – most recently to Arizona State University in 1987 to be Dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. Previously he was Director of the School of Architecture and Interior Design at the University of Cincinnati.

Following the selection of the design for the Burrell Collection Stage Two competition John Meunier joined the design team and assisted the development of the project. After winning the competition [1972] Gasson and Meunier Architects in association with Brit Andresen worked on the project until the partnership between Gasson and Meunier was dissolved [1974]. John Meunier travelled to the USA. After working on the project from 1972 to 1977 the project was shelved at a time of economic down-turn and Brit Andresen travelled to Australia. The museum project was started up again some years later and completed by Barry Gasson Architects.

Barry Gasson’s whereabouts are now unknown: if he reads this maybe he will let us know.

The Burrell Collection: +44 (0)141 287 2550

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photo © Adrian Welch

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photo © Adrian Welch

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Burrell Museum Scotland – page