Recycled pianos turn Springburn shed into auditorium

A DISUSED Romney shed in Springburn Park is being transformed into a forty-seater auditorium – made from recycled pianos. 

Glasgow Piano City (GCP) has partnered with Friends of Springburn Park (FSP), with funding from the council to complete the project. 

Tom Binns, of GPC, said: “There’s not very much in the north of the city so if we pull this off it will be a beautiful little venue for this part of the city.”

Glasgow Times:

Alex Doherty reached out to Tom last year to allow him to store pianos in the shed. Tom’s eye as caught by Pianodrome in Edinburgh and wanted to create a semi-permanent structure in the Romney shed for events.

Alex has found difficulty trying to put on events in Springburn in the past having put on a council hustings event in Springburn Academy in 2017. It was the only place he could find to host the hustings but it was expensive and would have been even more so had he had to rent a PA or the other things needed for a live performance. 

He added: “I really felt that this area really needed a specific performance space and there’s nothing like this in Springburn. But I wanted it to feel special and ambitious.” 

Glasgow Times:

They are still a long way from finishing and opening to the public – the seating area is not completed and the outer shell needs to be weather-proofed. 

The project was designed by Pianodrome and the team are working with Altronica, a Glasgow-based freelance furniture maker. The project has received vital funding through Glasgow city council’s area partnership fund. 

“We got a great boost from the council,” said Tom. “Initially we got some seed funding from Glasgow Connected Arts Network to let us do phase one but phases 2 and three are through the area partnership fund.

“We’ll be working with a team of craftsmen through the autumn and I would hope to finish before the winter. It will be the new year 2021 that we’ll probably open but that’s okay.

Glasgow Times:

The pair are conscious that the pianos that form the auditorium meant a lot to the people they belonged to and saving them from the skip is a job they take seriously. 

They have also turned up some interesting finds, according to Alex, who traced one back to being from Chicago at some point in its history

Tom said: “It means an awful lot to people who have donated a piano to a project, so they will know that it has a life beyond going in a skip. It’s heart-breaking seeing a piano thrown away for no good reason, so recycling it like this seems a real no-brainer to me. And people feel a deep connection with that.”

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