Burrell collection work tenders invited
Tenders are now being invited to carry out the major redevelopment of the building hosting the Burrell Collection in Glasgow.
Glasgow City Council is seeking contractors to carry out a £32 million project to transform the envelope of the building. One key element of the scheme will be the opening up of the cellar as an exhibition space. This could require significant waterproofing work to ensure this part of the building retains the necessary low moisture levels to provide the right environment in which artefacts can be preserved.
The tender notice states: "The Main Building Contract works for the Burrell Renaissance will focus upon renewal/refurbishment of the building envelop, renewal of the building services, creation of an additional entrance and adjacent public events plaza with associated landscaping.
"Creation of a new central hub within the location of the former auditorium, provision of a new café and shop, new community/learning facilities and an accessible collection store. The project scope will include an option for the Contractor to provide hard Facilities Management services for up to three years beyond completion of the building works."
Interested parties have until June 29th to bid. The notice states that the five highest scoring bidders will be invited to tender for the work.
The building closed in October last year as the refurbishment plans got under way, with the first task being to remove over 8,000 artefacts and put them into safe storage. The project will cost £66 million as a whole, with Glasgow City Council contributing over £27 million, the Heritage Lottery Fund £15 million and the UK government £5 million. A fundraising project is underway for the remainder of the money.
Planning permission for the revamp of the building was granted last month, which, naturally, delighted John McAslan. He said: "The scheme has been shaped by the need to address the strains on the current building, by a need to respond to the works held in the collection and by a desire to contribute further to the Burrell's unique setting of Pollok Country Park.
"This decision will ensure the Burrell Collection maintains its strong significance within Scotland and internationally".
The Burrell Collection features a huge array of items collected by Sir William Burrell, a Glasgow shipping magnate who collected artefacts from around the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After the family sold the fleet of ships it owned, he dedicated the rest of his life to adding to his collection.
Initially a private collection, he stipulated in his will, which he wrote in 1944, that upon his death the collection should be bequeathed to the city and go on public display at a country location at least 16 miles from the city centre. His reasoning was that the tapestries and other artefacts could be damaged by the polluted air of the city, necessitating a location well away from the smog and grime of industry.
Unfortunately, after Sir William died no suitable venue could be found, but in 1967 the owner of Pollok House and Pollok Country Park Mrs Anne Maxwell Macdonald donated the estate to the council, along with the Pollok House collection of paintings. Although the park lies inside the city, it was agreed this offered enough of a 'rural setting' for the collection, while also being conveniently close to transport links such as Pollokshaws West railway station.
The collection was opened to the public in 1983.