The re-designed Kelvingrove creates a more accessible and visitor friendly attraction, with better and larger shops, café and toilet facilities. There are more objects on display than ever before within the 22 major galleries and a wide range of educational and learning facilities for all age groups.
While housing some of the finest works from antiquity, Kelvingrove also displays original wiring going back to the earliest days of electricity.
“The building was becoming increasingly unsuitable to cater for the needs of our visitors,” explains Anthony McReavy, Project Coordinator for Glasgow City Council.
“This is the most visited museum outside of London and catering is critical in determining the quality of the visit, from the state of the toilets to the value of a cup of tea. Approximately half of our visitors are repeat customers – this is a community museum on a national scale.”
Robert Croft FIH - senior consultant for RC Associates was called in to detail the design
brief which included a café and a 500-seat banqueting hall and kitchen: “This is the premier facility for Glasgow City Council and a major social space for the city, as well as a key provider of income for the Museum,” says McReavy
“We identified a new area for the café – but it was not big enough to cope with the numbers at peak times. Robert Croft worked with the architects Building Design Partnership and caterers Encore Catering to produce a proposal for an external pavilion to provide the extra space”.
“We were looking for a mixed use of space and Robert gave us various options.
To increase the quality of the visit, the role of the catering operation is quite crucial.
We are now able to look at running a cash café during weekdays with a fine dining restaurant in the evenings, so catering for most visitors.
“Because it was a Victorian building, a lot of our food had to be prepared off site. We have taken out of the building all stores and offices to generate extra space – for the entrance, café and in particular, the main onsite kitchen incorporating a state of the art Cook-Chill system which allows us to substantially improve our offer.”
The refurbishment programme removed all the non-original features of the building as well as repairing and restoring those original features. At the same time all the heating, electrical and IT systems will be brought right up to date.
There is a new entrance at ground level but more importantly the display space was increased by 35 per cent. A redesign of the space allows the museum to increase the number of objects on display by 50 per cent as well as improving the way they are displayed and giving more information about the collections and the items.
Of the £27.9 million needed for the refurbishment of Kelvingrove, £22.4.million was pledged by Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, European Regional Development Fund and Historic Scotland. The remaining £5.5million was raised through the work of the Kelvingrove Refurbishment.
Appeal. Kelvingrove Museum www.glasgowmuseums.com