Scottish Galvanizers Ltd played a key role in a project to restore an iconic building to its former glory.
The famous Willow Tea Rooms Building, designed by world-renowned Scotsman Charles Rennie Mackintosh, underwent major refurbishment work earlier this year.
The renamed ‘Mackintosh at the Willow’ was reopened in the summer as part of ‘Mackintosh 150’ – a year-long programme of events to celebrate the achievements of the architect.
And part of the frontage of the building, at 217 Sauchiehall Street, had been galvanized by Scottish Galvanizers.
The Tea Rooms first opened in 1903, designed by Mackintosh for local entrepreneur and successful businesswoman Catherine Cranston.
In 2014 they were bought by The Willow Tea Rooms Trust to prevent almost certain closure and with the aim of fully restoring the site and returning it to public use.
As part of the major restoration, the Trust worked with expert craftsmen and women and commissioned more than 420 pieces of furniture plus glasswork, textiles and metal work, all to original Mackintosh designs.
The team at Scottish Galvanizers Ltd heard of the plans through their connection with master blacksmith Alan Dawson and volunteered to offer their support to a project featuring interior and exterior designs regarded among the finest examples of a complete Art Nouveau scheme in the world.
The restored Tea Rooms, along with a new integrated visitor centre, reopened in June with galvanized external signage and window roundels a prominent part of the building’s eye-catching frontage.
‘Mackintosh at the Willow’ will be run as a social enterprise with profits going to create employment, work experience and volunteer opportunities and to support other local heritage and community projects.
Paul Tait, Commercial Manager at Scottish Galvanizers Ltd, said: “As soon as we heard about this fantastic project, we wanted to offer our support to the restoration team.
“The building is such as special landmark here in Glasgow and is of great significance to the people in the city and across the world.
“We’re exceptionally proud to part to play in restoring this key site to its former glory and to have galvanized the external signs and window roundels on a complimentary basis, and we very much look forward to celebrating its official re-launch later in the year.”
Celia Sinclair, on behalf of The Willow Tea Rooms Trust, commented: “We would like to offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to the team at Scottish Galvanizers Ltd for providing their expert services and support as we work towards the fruition of this wonderful restoration project.
“The aim is to create a sustainable legacy for future generations and as part of this, galvanizing as a finish will ensure the building’s metalwork will last long into the future.”
For more about Mackintosh at the Willow, visit www.mackintoshatthewillow.com
By Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd
Photos: The Willow Tea Rooms Trust