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McGinlay Bell completes redevelopment of Glasgow Film Theatre

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The final phase of alteration works to the listed 1930s building reconfigures the interior and improves accessibility

In 2011, the Glasgow Film Theatre started work on delivering a masterplan vision for a significant refurbishment to its Category B-listed cinema building, designed by James McKissack.

Key to the first phase alteration works, completed in late 2013, was the introduction of a new entrance box office facility and the insertion of a new 60-seat digital auditorium.

MB Plan Ground Floor   Completion Project

Glasgow Film Theatre by McGinlay Bell

This phase, referred to by McGinlay Bell as the ‘completion project’, focuses on the reinterpretation of all the internal spaces, creating a suite of contemporary interiors. Spatially, this focuses around the creation a foyer, a ‘room in the city’ that provides space for the theatre keep queues out of the rain and direct film goers around the building, while also acting as a flexible slip-out space outside the auditoriums for users to meet.

The most formal element to the works is the creation of a double stairway leading up to the first-floor bar and main cinema screen. McGinlay Bell has employed this as a single central piece of drama or ‘theatre’, which reinterprets the cinema’s original 1930s butterfly staircase as a new architectural device.

MB Dapple GFT Potrait View 5

Glasgow Film Theatre by McGinlay Bell

The scheme improves accessibility, circulation and wayfinding throughout the building, introducing a new public platform lift that provides step-free access to all the upper levels for the first time.

The material palette and details have been used to add layers of interest, such as a new precast contemporary ‘Cinema of All’ brass foyer globe and a series screenprinted wall panels illustrating the ‘Evolution of the bowler-hatted Mr Cosmo’, all offering a nod to the building’s heritage.

In the more private upper levels, work has focused around new front-of-house office space and staff areas, as well as an educational ‘Project Room’ equipped for screenings, gaming, commercial hire and academic outreach programmes.

MB Axo Drawing 3

Glasgow Film Theatre by McGinlay Bell

Project data

Start on site May 2016
Practical completion May 2018
Gross internal floor area 352m²
Form of contract Traditional (SBC/Q/SCOT)
Construction cost £1.6 million
Construction cost per m² £4,550
Architect McGinlay Bell
Client The Glasgow Film Theatre
Project manager tX-2 Project Management
Structural engineer Struer Consulting Engineers
M&E consultant ACTS Partnership
QS Capita Property & Infrastructure
Fire consultant Atelier Ten
Acoustic consultant Sandy Brown Associates
Environmental sustainability consultant Steven Green Consulting
CDM coordinator CDM Scotland
Main contractor Thomas Johnstone
CAD software used AutoCAD LT 

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