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McAslan and Purcell shortlisted for Willow Tearooms restoration

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John McAslan + Partners and Purcell are among five teams vying to regenerate Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Willow Tearooms in Glasgow

LDN Architects, Edinburgh-based conservation specialist Simpson & Brown and emerging Glasgow studio Dress for the Weather complete the shortlist.

The full shortlist

  • Purcell
  • Dress for the Weather
  • Simpson & Brown
  • LDN Architects
  • John McAslan + Partners

Planned to complete in time for Mackintosh’s 150th birthday in 2018, the £4 million project will restore the Grade A-listed 1903 café and create a new visitor centre next door.

Designed for ‘art tearooms’ entrepreneur Catherine Cranston, the Sauchiehall Street landmark became part of a department store during the 1920s before being partially restored as a café in the early 1980s.

Coinciding with Page\Park’s nearby ‘Mack’ resurrection, the latest project – backed by the Willow Tearooms Trust – will restore the building as far as possible to its original 1903 condition.

A five-storey neighbouring tenement block will meanwhile be converted into a visitor centre featuring retail, an exhibition space, offices, toilets and a kitchen. 

Willow Tea Rooms Trust chair Celia Sinclair praised the quality of shortlisted firms. In a statement, she said: ‘The Trust is confident that it will be able to achieve its aims of restoring the Tea Rooms and creating a world class visitor centre adjacent to them.’

The five finalists will present their schemes to the jury on 20 August at the Glasgow Art Club on Bath Street.

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