The Burrell Collection

The Burrell Collection in Glasgow has over 9,000 objects including one of the most significant holdings of Chinese art in the UK, medieval treasures and paintings by renowned French artists including Manet, Cezanne, and Degas. This magnificent collection in its purpose-built home, surrounded by beautiful parkland, is ranked amongst the most significant civic museum collections in the UK – comparable to the National Gallery and the V&A in London. The A-listed home of The Burrell Collection in Pollok Country Park is now a modern, greener museum that will show more of the Collection to visitors and give access to over a third more of the building.

Since the early stages of the design, Atelier 10 completed various mock-ups for different types of exhibitions and case lighting, making the decision to switch from a traditional rack driven DALI system to Casambi controls early on as part of a value engineering exercise. Holders supported this decision by supporting Atelier 10 in the selection and use of Casambi hardware as it was very important to utilise the existing service network and cable routes since the building is listed. Fortunately, Casambi products blended well, with little intrusion. Not only were minimal amendments made, but 20% of the grommets were refurbished and all the power supply units were also replaced.

Atelier 10 chose mainly track lighting with some custom hardware. Holders supplied both devices to control the track lighting and lighting within the individual display plinths and cases. We also worked with our partner ‘Light Connections’ to develop a bespoke track-mounted housing for the Casambi control devices, which houses them in a fitting discreetly, allowing control of the different lighting circuits within the track. Because of its rural location, The Burrell Collection didn’t offer much signal, however, this was swiftly solved by relocating the ASDs to a more suitable position.

Dual circuits were chosen for the collection; this way one was used for the operational and cleaning task lighting, the other for display and exhibition lighting. For the display and exhibition lighting, Atelier 10 worked closely with the exhibition team to understand the necessary lighting requirements needed to preserve the artwork as best as possible. An important consideration was how to light the historical tapestries and certain books since these objects could only be exposed to a maximum of 150 lux in order to maintain the integrity of the materials and provide much-needed UV protection for blackout spaces.

Casambi-controlled lighting also worked in parallel with the new interactive displays added to The Burrell Collection. The lighting was programmed in such a way that when you pushed a button to initiate the screen or an audio recording, the luminaires light up in a synchronized sequence. Holders commissioned the lighting controls to ensure that the lighting delivered the desired function and ensured the client was trained to use the lighting controls after handover.

Due to the combined efforts of a well-sought-out team, “The reopening of The Burrell will once again rejuvenate the City of Glasgow, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the city economy.” The percentage of the collection now illuminated to the public eye has changed from 10 to 33 adding further to the esteemed Scottish collection of artworks.

Images: © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collections