Recycled pianos are key to new Glasgow auditorium project

By Linda Sinclair
BBC Scotland News

  • Published
Man with piano
Image caption,
Work on the venue is restarting after the Covid lockdown

A steel shed in a Glasgow park is being transformed into what's claimed to be a world first - an auditorium made out of recycled pianos.

About 30 instruments have been dismantled and rebuilt to create tiered seating at the former Glasgow City Council grit store in Springburn Park.

The project was the brainchild of Tom Binns from Glasgow Piano City.

It is a social enterprise which finds new homes for hundreds of donated pianos.

The Shawlands-based enterprise receives the instruments, which originate from as far afield as Chicago, Austria and Germany, and places them in public spaces like hospitals and bookshops.

Image caption,
The pianos come from workshops around the world
Image caption,
The metal shed had been used as a grit store by the city council

GCP has been working in collaboration with Pianodrome - instrumental pioneers who have created mobile piano amphitheatres - and the Friends of Springburn Park.

"They've been gathered here, labour-intensively dismantled and turned into this thing where people who have given us a piano can have a whole new thread of emotional connection to their instrument instead of it being dumped into a skip or going to landfill," explained Tom Binns.

The project started around a year ago with funding from Glasgow City Council, the Connected Arts Network and the Social Enterprise Network in Glasgow, but it was put on hold over the coronavirus lockdown.

"It's giving a new venue for people in Springburn, hopefully in the New Year when it's done, to have a place where they can come and share their voice for all sorts of different events. It won't just be performance, I can see educational workshops happening in here, dance things, community meetings, all sorts of stuff. It's a beautiful space to be in."

Now work can start again on the project, it is hoped the auditorium will be open for public use in 2021.

Image caption,
Much of the detail from the pianos has been retained in the construction

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