Review 2019-2020

Glasgow Doors Open Festival
© Chris Humphreys Photography

The Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival (GDODF) is an annual event celebrating the city's architecture, culture and heritage through a free programme of open buildings and events.


Undeterred by current social distancing measures the organisers decided to move to a digital platform for 2020, presenting Glasgow’s buildings in a range of live webinars, specially commissioned short films, online photo galleries, 3D models and audio tours for walking and cycling.

The Doors Open Day event is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the city's architecture whilst gaining an insight into the preservation of our historic buildings


John McGee
G&T Partner and conservation specialist

G&T has a strong presence within the arts and heritage sector within Scotland and across the UK. Recent Glasgow based projects include Parkhead School, Shawmuir Lodge and West Boathouse for Glasgow Preservation Trust, the Burrell Renaissance project for Glasgow Life and the award winning Kelvin Hall Redevelopment for Glasgow Life, University of Glasgow and the National Library of Scotland. We were therefore delighted to support Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival once again in 2020.

What was initially planned as a small but strong digital programme evolved to provide more than 100 events to help Glaswegians become better acquainted with their city remotely, whilst also promoting its rich history to new audiences who live further afield.

Stephen Sheriff, Festival Coordinator, said, “This year's programme has a fantastic range of events that will appeal to seasoned GDODF patrons and to those experiencing the festival for the first time. Undeterred by the new digital format, our participants have outdone themselves, creating a variety of online experiences. Rather than a year out, the 2020 event lays the foundations for a new digital archive of the city, to be enjoyed for years to come, by the people of Glasgow and beyond!

2011 Glasgow Door 2
© Andrew Lee

The theme for this year’s programme was Untold Stories and the festival seized the opportunity to unveil marginalised histories, investigating some uncomfortable truths about Glasgow’s heritage and also celebrating some lesser known stories about the city’s favourite landmarks.

The festival is championed by G&T Partner and conservation specialist, John McGee, who explains, ‘I have a passion for the heritage of Glasgow and the Doors Open Day event is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the city’s architecture whilst gaining an insight into the preservation of our historic buildings. G&T is a long term sponsor of the GDODF and as an RICS Accredited Historic Building Professional and former Director of the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust I was delighted to lend our support.’

Highlights from this years event include a series of short films presented by the Glasgow Short Film Festival, a talk from Wikipedia about redressing gaps and inequalities in history through their platform, recalling recent conversations around colonialism and statues, a view of Glasgow through the eyes of some of its most famous visitors and a documentary specially commissioned by GDODF.

Organised by Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, Glasgow Doors Open Days is part of a family of Doors Open Days events which take place across Scotland throughout September, coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust.

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