Major refurbishment of the Grade A Listed Aberdeen Art Gallery comprised of a combination of new-build extension and internal and external refurbishment works.
Works included the restoration and modernisation of the existing building which celebrates its unique features and improves the fabric and condition, improving collection display through expanded galleries with more exhibits, and increasing temporary displays and special exhibition galleries with a suite of rooms on a new second floor which will take large scale international exhibitions.
The visitor experience was also enhanced with new social spaces, improved café and retail, increased cloakrooms and toilets and a new passenger lift to the upper floors.
Cowdray Hall was also revitalised with improved performance area, crush hall and reception.
The works also provided new opportunities for participation and education through two dedicated spaces for schools and lifelong learners and a choice of participatory activities for all.
A major aspect of this project was the protection of the existing architecture and heritage, including the existing granite columns, historic granite archways, marble floors, architraves and dado rails and the large organ. Many items remained in-situ as refurbishment works progressed. We encased granite columns in plywood, wrapped retained joinery items in an impact-resistant, thick foam protector and laid a mixture of 25mm plywood sheets and Proplex heavy duty plastic corrugated sheets over retained flooring. We worked closely with the Art Gallery team to salvage items for re-use, including the Parthenon Frieze, timber flooring, brass handrails and mounts, decorative dado height timber wall panels, marble etc. Due care was taken when removing such items and packaging up correctly for removal off-site. We worked extremely closely with Historic Scotland and conservationists.