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Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre, Glasgow

Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre, Glasgow

Conservation of a 1920's bandstand and amphitheatre to provide a modern entertainment venue

Overview

Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre was built in 1924 as an entertainment venue, a role which it performed until its closure in 1999. Following this, the building fell into disrepair, eventually being classed as ‘critical’ on the Buildings at Risk Register.

It is Category B listed, being the only original bandstand left in Glasgow, and only one of three in Scotland which have associated amphitheatres.

Following a number of earlier proposals to restore the Bandstand and Amphitheatre, in 2012 a delivery plan, funding and a project team were arranged. A partnership of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, owners Glasgow City Council and end users Glasgow Life allowed the project to proceed. The design team were appointed in November 2012, and work on site started in August 2013.

The aim of the project was to repair and conserve the original 1920’s fabric while improving access and facilities to ensure Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre were fit for purpose.

The project was completed ahead of schedule and an official re-opening was held in May 2014.

Kelvingrove Bandstand-roof detail

Roof Detail © Andrew Lee

Approach

The existing 1920’s fabric and features of the structure were conserved and repaired. Roofing repairs and retiling took place using salvaged tiles on the main elevation, and new tiles on other pitches. The dome was thought to be originally cast in lead or copper, but due to the risk of theft Historic Scotland agreed to allow the use of zinc in the restoration.

In addition, two modest extensions were created at the rear of the bandstand to allow the installation of a lift, to ensure access to the stage. Dressing rooms, showers, WC’s and a green room are also accommodated here. 

The amphitheatre was also restored, with adaptations including ramped access, new fixed seating in upper levels and new gangways created to improve access and safety. 

Performance

A range of events have already been held at the restored bandstand and amphitheatre including Festival 2014 (the cultural festival running alongside the Commonwealth Games), Glasgow Mela and the West End Festival. It has also been used widely by local schools.

The project was recognised with a commendation for the Best Non-Housing Regeneration Project at the Herald Property Awards 2014 and won the 2014 GIA Conservation Award.

The total cost of the project was £2million. This was met through contributions from a range of funders: The Architectural Heritage Fund, Glasgow City Council (including Landfill Communities Fund), Glasgow City Heritage Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, Hugh Fraser Foundation, Sylvia Waddilove Foundation, William Grant & Sons and contributions raised by Glasgow Life.

Kelvingrove Bandstand-crowd

Crowds at the Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre © Andrew Lee

Lessons

A range of engagement events are to be held by Glasgow Life to raise awareness of the significance and history of the building among the local community.

The achievements of the project in 2014 awards, and the wide range of events that have already been hosted signify a successful restoration of Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre.

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