Mosaic acquires Glasgow’s second oldest architecture practice

(from left) Neil Haining, Iain Macrae, Stephen Mallon and Sandy Cooper
(from left) Neil Haining, Iain Macrae, Stephen Mallon and Sandy Cooper

One of Scotland’s most experienced practices Mosaic Architecture + Design has boosted its staff numbers to 20 with the acquisition of Burnet Bell for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition adds the Glasgow School of Art, St. Aloysius’ College and St. Columba’s School amongst others to Mosaic’s burgeoning client portfolio and enhances its offering of consultancy services, which includes architecture, interior design, masterplanning, to a range of sectors, such as education, residential care and hospitality.

Frank Burnet Sr founded Burnet Bell in 1878 and notable early buildings include St Georges Mansions, Charing Cross (1901); Battlefield Rest, (1914) and St Columbas School (1919). Frank Burnet Jr joined in 1919 and the practice further flourished leading to acquiring James Miller’s firm in 1945.

Burnet Bell became well known and prolific in the field of schools, hospitals and Glasgow’s tenemental housing. Notable principals led the practice, including James Rennie, followed by Bob McPhail and Iain Macrae to the current day.

Stephen Mallon, director of Mosaic, said: “We are an ambitious company with a firm focus on expansion, so when the opportunity to acquire Burnet Bell presented itself, we realised that both practices share an expertise in similar sectors and that combining our practices would further enhance our offering to clients operating within the education, residential care, hospitality and other sectors.”

Neil Haining, director of Mosaic, added: “Burnet Bell and Mosaic share a similar work ethic, offering design solutions that create uplifting spaces for people to work, live and play, and this strategic acquisition provides us with an enlarged portfolio comprising small scale design solutions up to multi-million pound projects for a broader range of clients, while bolstering our range of expertise and prospects for achieving further growth.”

Iain Macrae, former managing partner of Burnet Bell, said: “This merger marks a positive step forward for both companies, providing continuity for Burnet Bell staff and clients while protecting and strengthening the ongoing business of one of Glasgow’s oldest architectural practices.

“I will be continuing my involvement with the new combined entity for the foreseeable future to ensure a smooth transition for all our existing clients.”

Recent projects undertaken by Mosaic and Burnet Bell include the University of the West of Scotland’s new Lanarkshire Campus; the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland new student residences in Glasgow; extensive refurbishment of the RAC Club in Pall Mall, London; a new campus extension for St. Columba’s School; new offices for Glasgow School of Art and the new sports facility for St. Aloysius’ College.

The enlarged practice recently relocated to a new city centre studio in Glasgow city centre and is already on the lookout for further growth opportunities.

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