Art school proposes ‘faithful reinstatement’ of fire-hit building

The Mackintosh Building at Glasgow School of Art was devastated by two fires in 2014 and 2018.

Art school proposes ‘faithful reinstatement’ of fire-hit building SWNS via SWNS

The Glasgow School of Art has proposed a ‘faithful reinstatement’ of the iconic Mackintosh Building which was destroyed by two fires.

The top art college considered a variety of possibilities including a new build on the same site, or another building elsewhere in Glasgow.

It also considered doing the bare minimum.

Students and staff were consulted as well as the heritage sector, and neighbours on Sauchiehall Street.

Two fires devastated the famous building built in the 1930s and designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The first was in 2014 when a flammable art project caught light, and in 2018 a more serious fire occurred within the building site.

The building is considered a tourist magnet as well as a learning institution.

It was decided that ‘the best option is to undertake a faithful reinstatement within the practical constraints of the regulatory environment, while innovating to make sure that digital technology and sustainability are at the building’s heart’.

Refurbishing the building ‘will benefit the nation, students, the community, academia and the economy by delivering the GSA’s academic objectives’.

The remaining structure will be retained and re-used including the existing foundations and remaining external and internal walls as well as floors.

The existing external walls will be supported by a new temporary facade retention structure, if necessary, to allow the construction of a new internal frame which the external walls will be tied back into to create a new solid structure to be compliant with building regulations.

Iconic spaces, such as the Library, Board Room, Director’s Office, Mackintosh Room, Lecture Theatre, Studio 58, the Hen Run, Loggia, Museum and Studio 11 will be reinstated together with all the other spaces including studios.

Director of The Glasgow School of Art, Professor Penny Macbeth, said: “The GSA is one of only three UK Art schools to consistently rank in the top ten of the influential QS world rankings for Art and Design.

“The original Art School building is synonymous with The Glasgow School of Art and it was central to the GSA’s learning, teaching and research for over a century, as well as being an important part of Glasgow’s cultural life and heritage.

“One of the recommendations of the Scottish Government’s Culture Tourism Europe and External Affairs Committee report was that we should examine a range of options for the future of the building, and the Strategic Outline Business Case has done just that, subjecting each of them to a rigorous analysis.”

“Core to the SOBC was a programme of stakeholder engagement and I should like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in this programme including our external Steering Group, led by Professor John French, for their vital contributions and insight.

“We will continue to work closely with our stakeholders throughout the project.”

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