Expecting The Unexpected At The Gallery Of Modern Art

Expecting The Unexpected At The Gallery Of Modern Art

We are just about to see the grand reveal after the conclusion of a very interesting and challenging project at one of Scotland’s top attractions and historic buildings, the stunning Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in Glasgow.

After an extensive series of conservation repairs, the scaffolding that currently covers the clock tower at GoMA will come down, revealing the new look of the 189 year old landmark.

The brief set by Glasgow Life, which manages of GoMA, was to assess the true condition of the tower and advise on a suitable repair strategy for the Tower, which was coated in stained cream masonry paint and cement repairs together with vegetation growing out of the Corinthian column.

Looking at what was needed to enhance the visual aesthetic of this landmark whilst ensuring an improve lifespan, our conservation architects couldn’t have anticipated though that we would find some serious errors in the original construction of the tower.

There is always a level of risk associated with removing paint from sandstone but it’s an exciting activity as you don’t know what you might find! What will the condition of the masonry be like and what secrets will the building reveal?  Here, we discovered masonry wrongly bedded in the Tower when it was constructed between 1827 and 1829 and sandstone heavily carbonated.

Although some may have liked to have seen these dark deposits removed, it’s not good practice as you are potentially removing too much original historic and listed fabric. So, we have steam cleaned and removed loose material and carried out indent repairs and what we have re-presented follows good conservation practice.


We think the final result is both beautiful and able to stand the test of time.

David Millar, Director and Head of Conservation at Austin-Smith:Lord


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