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Glasgow - United Kingdom

The Burrell Collection

The museum & the collection

The magnificent Burrell Collection is managed by Glasgow Life, a group of museums and galleries owned by the City of Glasgow, Scotland. Based in the countryside setting of Pollok Park, it houses the diverse and extensive art collection of Sir William Burrell and Lady Constance Burrell, which displays Chinese, Islamic, Medieval, Gothic, and French art, Tapestries, and Stained glass.

The assignment & the challenges 

As part of the spectacular refurbishment of the museum, 216 showcases in 10 types + 9 sub-types were ordered. In creating the new showcases, we had to respect the look and feel of the original showcases, which were designed in the 1970s. Of course, the new showcases incorporate all of the features of a modern technical case with a high level of security, conservation and airtightness. We had to safeguard the overall harmony of the exhibition and ensure that all case designs had a level of visual continuity.

We had to adapt the metal polishing of the profiles and fittings around the case to guarantee the same degree of smoothness of all elements, regardless the size and shape of the case. In addition, we ensured that the polished surfaces would be resistant to scratches to avoid damages during the installation process and further use of the showcases.

Whilst the showcases had to resemble their predecessors, they also had to match the surrounding environment. 50% of the showcases had internal plinths and display panels made of limestone. The plinths of the freestanding showcases, developed by the fit-out contractor, had to match with our limestone internal plinths. The recessed wall showcases had to be adapted to fit neatly into existing niches with irregular shapes, which are typical for old buildings.

The solutions & the results 

We are especially satisfied with the result of the showcases, as shown on the picture below, which were placed on a recessed plinth in front of a much larger video wall showing close-up images of objects within the case. In order to access the monitor screens, it had to be possible to remove the showcases. We developed a system using an engineered sliding mechanism to transfer the case from the normal position onto a special trolly that then allowed the case to be temporarily relocated. The design works successfully, and the finished case gives no visual clue as to its ability to relocate. The process was prototyped and tested and is now in use in several locations around the museum.

Finally, many of the showcase internals were a bespoke design with unique finishes which included: internal bead-blasted frames, fabric and acrylic back panels, internal plinths, lightboxes, glass shelves etc. Moreover, the project was developed, manufactured, and installed throughout the challenges of the global pandemic, yet the quality of the communication and coordination allowed this to be a smooth running project that created an exceptional revitalised Museum for the City of Glasgow.

© Glasgow Museums & Alexander Verguchten


The Burrell Collection




United Kingdom



Type of museum

Art Museum




216 custom showcases with internals

More info

© Glasgow Museums & Alexander Verguchten

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