Latest

Vogue: Why “Scandi-Scot” Style Should Be on Your 2024 Interior Design Moodboard 01.03.2024
Lundies House on Condé Nast Gold List 2024 23.12.2023
GRAS appointed to refurbish the A-listed Malleny House in Balerno 22.12.2023
Competition in Czechia: the municipal library in Česká Lípa 27.11.2023
Natasha Huq as one of the RIAS Live event keynotes 03.11.2023
Our Common Humanity by artist Juli Bolaños-Durman on permanent display at The Royal Edinburgh Hospital 13.10.2023
GRAS interior design project longlisted in Dezeen Awards 2023 12.09.2023
Competition in Czechia: drinking fountain 28.06.2023
GRAS completes an interior project in Edinburgh 16.06.2023
Tim Taylor’s new artwork at Hidden Door Festival 2023 31.05.2023
View all entries

Studio Day Out — Glasgow for the day

07.12.2022

Our most recent study-trip. Glasgow for the day.

The first stop was Hill House in Helensburgh. Those of us who studied in Scotland are familiar with MacDonald, Mackintosh, and their work at Hill House, but for many it was an introduction to The Hill House Box by Carmody Groarke. With a tour of the house we headed up into the walkways above. The unusual perspective this structure provides, suspended above roofs, is a rare treat. Standing close with the shoulders of the building, (a perspective normally only afforded during that short period a scaffold is up) suddenly reduces the home to something you might hold in two hands.

The investigative work and research undertaken by National Trust Scotland as the home dries out provided an insight into the challenges we may face in retaining our existing contemporary/modern structures. A challenge that will require deep consideration and knowledge of fabrics that is increasingly becoming harder to define. After lunch at House for an Art Lover, and a short wander around the 1990s interpretation of Mackintosh, we headed over to the Burrell Collection to see the recent restoration by John McAslan and Partners.

Perhaps this building is best at dusk, as the glass slips away and you are in the company of trees and their trunks as you look at Rodin and ancient monuments. A lot of it is familiar – putting to one side the debates that surround this work – to walk around the collection still feels as it did. Perhaps only to eyes looking for detail, the once tired junctions and fittings are fresh, sharp and clean.

The final port of call on the journey home was St Andrews in the Square to introduce those new to the studio a classic, sat alongside previous GRAS Glasgow headquarters at James Morrison Street. For a studio working within the conservation, restoration and the management of decay, the visit raises an interesting question – when we conserve or restore what is it we are aiming to achieve? This is a slightly redundant question and too large to challenge here. But perhaps the the extension to this question is how might that work be suitably sustained? The unglamorous realities of maintenance and monitoring.

Written by Charlie Porter

More about St Andrews in The Square

St Andrew’s Church in the East end of Glasgow is of immense architectural significance, having been designed in 1739 by the architect Allan Dreghorn and built by the master mason Mungo Naismith. It is considered one of the best classical revival churches in Britain and is A-listed. Glasgow Building Preservation Trust’s main aim was to restore the church to its former glory but in order to make it sustainable, additional facilities were needed. As the church sits on an island site at the centre of St. Andrews Square, no additional structure could be added. Thus the bold decision was taken to excavate under the existing building to achieve the space required.

The Church was opened to the public on St Andrew’s Day, 30th of November 2000, as a centre for traditional Scottish music, song and dance. St Andrew’s Church was awarded the Dynamic Place Award in 2001, Europa Nostra Diploma in 2001, Glasgow Institute of Architects President’s Choice Design Award in 2001, Civic Trust Award in 2002. and RICS award in 2003.