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Open Doors Week: Dunfermline's new museum takes shape

Dunfermline: royal capital of Scotland until the 17th century and the birthplace of steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

These two facts combine on Bam Construct’s project to refurbish Dunfermline Carnegie Library and build an extension to house the new Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries, a museum and art gallery space.

The building is situated right next to Dunfermline Abbey, where the medieval kings and queens of Scotland were crowned and Saint Margaret of Scotland is buried, and the Abbot House, the oldest secular building in Dunfermline which dates back to the mid-15th century.

Open Doors 2016 Bam Construct Dunfermline Museum 6

Open Doors 2016 Bam Construct Dunfermline Museum 6

Both will be visible from windows installed in the upper levels of the museum, with views on its south side showing off the Forth Road Bridge.

Dunfermline Carnegie Library, to which the new museum and art gallery will be attached, was built in the early 19th century. It was the first in the world to be funded by donations from Mr Carnegie; a further 2,811 were eventually built around the globe.

Bam Construct demolished the structure of the building next to the library, which was home to the first ever Clydesdale Bank, retaining its facade and constructing a new building behind it.

The new knits into the old with a glass atrium that starts at ground level and runs the entire length of the building, letting natural light into the exhibition spaces below.

Open Doors 2016 Bam Construct Dunfermline Museum 3

Open Doors 2016 Bam Construct Dunfermline Museum 3

Members of Fife Council are on site as Construction News visits for Open Doors Week, having a nose around the spectacular building that is set to open in spring next year.

Senior site manager Brendan Patton (who looked after Bam Construct’s Connect110ns commercial development in Glasgow when Construction News visited for Open Doors in 2014 and 2015) says it has been a challenging build at times, but will be well worth it once complete.

“Getting out of the ground here was probably the biggest challenge, because there were lots of different levels on the site,” he says. Bam arrived on site in January and was carrying out groundworks until November that year.

“It’s been really enjoyable, although it is a difficult job.”

Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries

Contractor: Bam Construct
Client: Fife Council
Value: £13m
Start date: January 2015
Completion date for Bam: September 2015
Opening date: January 2017


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