BAM entrusted to bring Perth City Hall back to life
The building, which closed its doors to the public in 2005 and whose future was until recently the subject of much speculation, is to be converted by Perth & Kinross Council into a world-class visual arts visitor experience after much consultation.
The restoration takes on increased significance given Perth’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021.
Built in 1914 and located on King Edward Street in the heart of the city, the Grade B listed building, originally designed by Glasgow architect HE Clifford and Lunan, is an iconic landmark featuring an ornate façade with a 3-bay coupled Roman portico, arched decorative doorways and striking cornicing.
The reimagined building will create a new 1,500m² flexible exhibition hall that can accommodate displays of differing content and scale. It will not only be a home to permanent collections of local archaeology and social history, but will also be able to host touring exhibitions. The wider plans include a 150m² learning suite, 250m² collections handling area and up to 275m² of commercial visitor facilities including a café and retail area.
Bruce Dickson, regional director, BAM Construction, said: “Having already been appointed on the refurbishment of Perth Museum and Art Gallery, we are absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to work with hub East Central Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council on the City Hall. It’s fair to say that, once completed, these two buildings will transform the city’s arts and culture scene while at the same time retaining the links to the city’s rich heritage.”
Five architects have been shortlisted for the project following an RIAS-led design competition and include Austin-Smith: Lord, Hoskins Architects, LDN, Mecanoo and Richard Murphy Architects.
Depute chief executive, Jim Valentine, said: “We’re delighted to be working with BAM on this prestigious project. Having an experienced and knowledgeable contractor on board will help the transformation of Perth City Hall run smoothly over the coming years. This is an exciting stage in the project as we look to finalise the architectural firm which will develop the final designs and the concept of a new cultural attraction really starts to take shape.
“Along with the refurbishments of Perth Theatre and Perth Museum and Art Gallery, City Hall will help to build the foundations for people to use the city centre in new ways, making new connections and inspiring and stimulating new business.”
Gary Bushnell, chief executive, hub East Central Scotland, the procurement partner, said, “We are working closely with BAM and look forward to managing the project to successful completion, creating a unique new home for the museum and gallery.”
BAM Construction has specialist experience in working on heritage and cultural projects and is currently building the new V & A Museum of Design in Dundee. Other cultural projects include the Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh and the Kelvingrove and Riverside Museums in Glasgow.