5 April 2023

‘It’s a measured, almost surgical approach – a grown-up retrofit,’ said one judge of this deserving winner. ‘Truly exemplary,’ said another. ‘The team has demonstrated how retrofit is about more than mitigation. It's about improvement.’

The transformation of The Burrell Collection balances restoration and modernisation on one of the few Category A-listed post-war Scottish buildings.

In recent years the building had suffered from water ingress, poor energy performance, issues with accessibility and a lack of flexibility. Through careful internal interventions, an additional 35 per cent of display space has been created within the existing building envelope. A key move has seen a redundant lecture theatre replaced by a triple-height central orientation hub, while a more accessible entrance has been added to the east of the building.

Working with engineer Atelier Ten and façade consultant Arup, the project took a ‘fabric first’ approach, improving weathertightness and environmental controls and reducing energy demand to save over 600 tonnes of CO2 a year. Most of the existing materials were re-used or recycled, and The Burrell is the first museum refurb in the UK to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating.

‘In all,’ concluded the judges, ‘it is an intelligent project with a great level of attention and detail.’ EB