McGurn, Logan, Duncan and Opfer
Location and Community Context
Lambert Street, Glasgow
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Modern refurbishment and conversion of the 19th century, Grade B listed, Cowcaddens Free Church in Glasgow into a centre for the study and teaching of piping. Built in 1872 the Cowcaddens Free Church was designed by architects Douglas and Sellers, the building is constructed of cream ashlar sandstone, primarily in the Italianate style of the period, with a mixture of Greek elements, notably the pediemented façade onto Cowcaddens Road, and a distinctly Tuscan style campanile to the West elevation. The building is finished with sate piend roofs throughout, and deep consoled eaves and Roman tiled piend roof to the corner campanile. Internally the church had capacity for over 1,000 persons and was designed especially for preaching to the congregation. As a result the layout does not reflect any significant forms with no prominent chancel, but rather a focus on the pulpit and gospel lectern to emphasise the importance of preaching to the congregation. The building remained disused until the refurbishment and conversion by McGurn, Logan, Duncan and Opfer in the earl 1990’s. The architects sensitively restored the external facades, while delicately, but significantly altering the internal layout of the building. They created modern and functional spaces dedicated to the playing of the bagpipes, include the Great Highland Bagpipes, Scottish smallpipes and Irish uileann pipes, as well as other traditional musical instruments. The conversion and alteration includes practise spaces, an auditorium, and the Museum of Piping. All of the interior elements provide a light and comfortable environment for the buildings users. Further, the renovation and conversion has maintained an important piece of Glasgow's ecclesiastical heritage.