Commercial arm kept busy in Scotland

The commercial arm of our business works up and down the UK so it’s nice now and again to be involved in projects on our doorstep.

Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) first opened in 1939 and we updated the original terrazzo staircase and flooring, both of which are great adverts for our in-situ and precast work.

  

The Art Deco cinema is now protected as a category B listed building, and lies on the corner of Blythswood and Renfrew streets not far from another of the city’s iconic buildings, the Glasgow School of Art.

GFT's predecessor was the Cosmo which was Scotland's first arts cinema and only the second purpose-built arthouse in Britain, after the Curzon Mayfair, in London. It opened on 18 May 1939, and was the last cinema to be built in Glasgow before the outbreak of the Second World War.

The Cosmo arrived at the close of an important decade for British film culture because with the advent of sound in film, language became a barrier and popular movies from the continent quickly disappeared from British screens.

In Glasgow, audiences for world cinema were served by the Film Society of Glasgow. Founded in 1929, it was the first cultural film group in Scotland, and its growing membership demonstrated a real appetite for foreign-language film in the city.

Spotting a gap in the market, a member of one of Glasgow's illustrious cinema chain families, George Singleton joined up with Charles Oakley, chairman of the Film Society and the Scottish Film Council, to create the Cosmo (the name being a shortening of the Cosmopolitan cinema in Cambridge that Oakley knew of).

Singleton approached renowned local architects James McKissack and WJ Anderson II to work on the new cinema. Their design for the Cosmo's geometric, windowless façade was influenced by the work of Willem Marinus Dudok, a leading Dutch modernist architect.

The international theme was continued outside in the choice of cladding materials (a mix of Ayrshire brick finished with faiance cornices, set on a base of black Swedish granite) and inside, where a globe was installed over the stalls entrance. In its original layout, there was just a single auditorium, seating 850 people.

About 10 miles to the west of Glasgow is Paisley and St Mirin's Cathedral, which was built in 1930 by local architect Thomas Baird, and lies close to the site of the original church of the same name which dated from 1808.

The original building was the first stone-built Roman Catholic church in post-Reformation Scotland. The present building was raised to cathedral status in 1948 following the erection of the diocese in 1947.

Andrews Tiles was called in to incorporate a Celtic cross in front of the steps of the alter. Several designs were put forward and the one that was chosen combined perfectly with the look of the original Terrazzo.

Terrazzo is one, if not the only, hard flooring that was able to give the versatility to achieve the required integration into the building.

If you’d like to know more about how our commercial contracts division can help your latest project, please call us on 0113 262 4751 or 0141 778 6323.

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