The iconic Kelvin Hall is all set to start a new phase in its life as Centre of Cultural Excellence providing collections’ storage, teaching and research, alongside a state-of-the-art Glasgow Club health and fitness centre – and it's looking fabulous.
I popped in today to have a look and was given a guided tour of the building by Ewan, one of the Glasgow Life employees. The beautiful sweeping entry is very stylish and streamlined with a sense of space. There's a long, long corridor off of which are the entrances to different sectors belonging to the various organisations within the building: Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, the University of Glasgow and the National Library of Scotland.
Included in the facilities will be storage space for internationally important collections from the Hunterian and Glasgow Museums. I was happy to learn that it won't all be hidden away and the public will be able to observe some of the important work relating to the city's heritage: 'the only surviving complete suite of interiors by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Mrs Cranston’s Ingram Street tearooms ... will undergo conservation works in public view.'
Both visitors to the city and Glaswegians are going to love the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive, where they will have access to over 100 years of Scottish history on film and video. 'Visitors will have access to over 60,000 film reels, videotapes and digital files as well as the National Library of Scotland’s other licensed digital collections.'
The University of Glasgow's campus development plans include the Kelvin Hall in its plan to: create inspiring spaces and opportunities for world changing research, teaching and learning. It will include research and teaching labs, conservation studios, research and seminar rooms, a dedicated post-graduate study space and conference suite.
There will also be a an Academy for Cultural and Heritage Skills – developing and offering in-service training, CPD and knowledge exchange to the museum and cultural heritage sectors, nationally and internationally.
The Glasgow Club at Kelvin Hall has fabulous facilities and aims to attract may people and improve fitness of Glasgow residents. The state of the art health and fitness centre has flexible space with eight courts in the multi-purpose sports hall, fitness suits gymnastics and martial arts courts and the largest fitness gym in the city.
There's also a Cafe situated off the entrance foyer, which will be convenient for people passing by as well as those using the Kelvin Hall.
Pat Byrne, 5 August, 2016