|St Andrews in the Square
St Andrew's in the Square is the building that the name Glasgow Building Preservation Trust is usually associated with. This exceptionally beautiful Georgian building with its stunning Baroque interior, complete with ornate gilded plaster ceiling and Corinthian columned nave, has been painstakingly restored. A bold design led approach was taken to refurbish this nationally important building and create the Centre for traditional Scottish music, song and dance run by SAINTS Trust. St Andrews is located in the Merchant City / East End, just off Saltmarket and is well used by the local community, the people of Glasgow at large and national organisations such as the BBC for concerts and media events.
St Andrews was constructed in 1739 to designs of Alan Dreghorn and built by master mason Mungo Naismith. It is "A" listed and is regarded as one of the top six classical churches in UK. The design is similar to St Martin in the Fields in London.
The Trust became involved with the building at a time when the congregation of the church was dwindling with usually about fifteen members attending services. The Trust acquired the building at the request of the congregation in October 1993.
The announcement that the Trust was to proceed with the restoration of St Andrews gave confidence to others to embark on several ambitious projects that have consolidated this historic and important area of the city. It prompted developments such as the redevelopment of St Andrews Square itself; Glasgow 1999 UK City of Architecture and Design Homes for the Future project and further housing proposals at Glasgow Green.
A key feature of the conversion work, which retains the main space in the church as a performance, conference and wedding venue, was a 4-5 metre deep excavation to create a basement that contains a Café Bar/ Restaurant and ancillary accommodation which makes the whole project commercially viable.
The project was split into two phases. Phase 1 started on site: in March 1998 and involved the creation of the basement. Phase 2 followed on in January 1999. Additions made during Victorian era were removed, returning the interior to its 18 th century lightness and elegance. The whole project was completed on 30 November 2000 - St Andrews day.
The project created some wide ranging benefits such as the employment of 80 tradesmen for the building works, 12 trainees served their entire apprenticeship on the project and continued traditional trade skills in masonry, stained glass, gilding, specialist joinery and metalwork. Since completion, other development projects have emerged in the immediate vicinity.
St Andrews has received six prestigious awards:
Europa Nostra Diploma, Civic Trust Commendation, Glasgow Institute of Architects Special Award, Scottish Award for Quality in Planning, Dynamic Place Award, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Commendation.