Glasgow School of Art fire inquiry news, Rennie Mackintosh architect, Mac building refurbishment

Glasgow School of Art

Rennie Mackintosh Building Fire Inquiry – Modern Architecture Scotland, UK

post updated 31 March 2024

GSA’s own experts issued fire warning eight years before Mack disaster

Glasgow School of Art – The Herald’s Investigations

The Herald’s in depth investigations into the 2014 and 2018 fires, running now over seven days.

Glasgow School of Art: Mackintosh, GSA building fires

This exclusive is the most critical, published today, Sunday. It also includes an interview Alan Dunlop architect did with the Herald on Friday.

It is well worth 17 minutes of anyone’s time if they are interested in Rennie Mackintosh and the future of The Glasgow School of Art.

Glasgow School of Art: Mackintosh, GSA building fires

“Many of the existing features /operational procedures within the building fail to comply with modern fire safety requirements / legislation and could potentially cause, or contribute significantly to a fire within the building.”

Sunday’s article:
Glasgow School of Art: Mackintosh, GSA building fires

Attached is a selection of articles from The Herald’s investigations into the 2014 and 2018 Art School fires, the second of which destroyed the building.

Friday’s article:
Glasgow School of Art: Mackintosh, GSA building fires

These are courtesy of Scottish architect Alan Dunlop who features as a crticial expert.

GSA building Alan Dunlop architect

Previously on Glasgow Architecture:

post updated 27 March 2022
The Glasgow School of Art launches search for new Chair of the Board of Governors

Glasgow School of Art Board of Governors Chair

Through executive search consultants, Saxton Bampfylde, The Glasgow School of Art launched the process for the election of a new Chair of the Board of Governors.

“The Glasgow School of Art is at a pivotal and exciting moment in its history,” says Dr Graham Sharp, Convenor of the Board Chair Election Committee. “The new Chair will play a vital role in leading the Board of Governors and ensuring that the Institution is well connected with its stakeholders, including staff and students”

In line with the process set down in the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) 2016 act a special committee has been convened – comprising members of the Board of Governors, staff and student representatives – which has determined the criteria for applicants, with advice from specialist search consultants Saxton Bampfylde.

Interested applicants are asked to contact Saxton Bampfylde. Further information on the role can be found at Applications have to be submitted by 20 April 2022.

The Full process for the election of a Chair of an HE institution was set down in the Higher Education (Governance) Scotland Act 2016.

25 Jan 2022
Glasgow School of Art fire: Inquiry unable to find cause

Glasgow School of Art Fire Inquiry

Fire investigators have failed to find a cause for the fire that destroyed Glasgow School of Art’s world-renowned Mackintosh building in 2018, report the BBC today.

The blaze broke out on 15 June – four years after an earlier fire had caused major damage to the building.

But following an investigation lasting more than three years, the final report concluded that the cause of the second blaze remained “undetermined”. It said this was due to extensive damage and the destruction of evidence.

The GSA said it “shared the regret” that the exact cause of the fire had not been identified and would take time to consider the report and its recommendations.

The fire investigation, which lasted until 30 September 2021, involved the excavation and physical examination of hundreds of tonnes of fire-damaged debris. Witness testimonies, CCTV and photographic footage were also analysed.

The fire took hold as the building design by Charles Rennie Mackintosh on Renfrew Street neared the end of a £48m restoration, following the earlier blaze in 2014.

The report found that it was likely the fire started on the east side, on or above level four of the Mackintosh building.

It added that an unlimited air supply fed through the duct system which served to intensify the fire, “promoting uncontrolled fire growth and rapid development”.

Within 38 minutes of the arrival of firefighters, 50% of the building, which had 10 levels, was well alight.

22 Oct 2021
Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh Building options

The Glasgow School of Art has shared the outcome of a Strategic Outline Business Case for the Mackintosh Project, a rigorous analysis of the options for the Mackintosh Building. Commissioned by the GSA from external consultants (a hub West-led team including Avison Young) the analysis was undertaken in line with the HM Treasury Green Book guidance and Scottish Public Investment Manual, and involved detailed engagement with stakeholders including representatives of the local community, heritage sector, local and national government and GSA alumni, student and staff:

Mackintosh Building Options, Glasgow School of Art

3 Nov 2018

Glasgow School of Art Director News

GSA Director Professor Tom Inns Moves On

The GSA has today announced that Director Professor Tom Inns is to step down after five years in the role.

The Chair of the Board of Governors, Muriel Gray said; “On behalf of the GSA Board and all at the School I would like to wish Tom all the very best for the future. He has had the most challenging tenure at the helm of GSA and we are truly grateful for all his enormous commitment and hard work – especially over the course of the past few months.”

Until a successor has been appointed the GSA will be led by the School’s Deputy Directors, Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam and Professor Ken Neil.

Tom Inns said; ”The Glasgow School of Art is an exceptional place, in stepping down I will miss the creative energy of staff and students enormously, and I wish them all well as the Institution approaches its 175th Birthday in 2020.

Since the fire in June 2018, just months before the building was to be handed back to GSA, we’ve worked tirelessly to stabilise the building as quickly as possible to minimise disruption to our local community, and to reopen our own campus for the new academic year.

The Board of Governors is now developing plans to rebuild the Mackintosh Building. I have led GSA through the challenges of fire recovery twice and a restoration of the Mackintosh Building, whilst simultaneously extending GSA’s global reputation, delivering growth, opening up opportunities for disadvantaged students and transforming other parts of GSA’s estate. It is now time for a new Director to work with the Board to deliver the future vision for GSA.”

29 Jun 2018

Glasgow School of Art Fire News

Mackintosh Building Restoration Ends

Statement from GSA:

Following the fire on 15 June, The Glasgow School of Art and Kier Construction Limited confirm they have jointly concluded that the current contract for the Mackintosh Building restoration will end with immediate effect. Both parties agreed that the current contract could no longer be fulfilled or completed.

Kier Construction Limited was appointed in June 2016 as main contractor to deliver the works for the restoration of the Mackintosh Building. At contract award the value was circa £25m and the works were scheduled for completion in January 2019.

The Glasgow School of Art acknowledges the work Kier Construction Limited and its appointed sub-contractors had undertaken to date.

29 + 28 Jun 2018
Glasgow School of Art Down-takings

A statement has been released by the Glasgow School of Art:

“The areas of significant concern are the east elevation, the west elevation and sections of the south elevation.

“The plan of works will involve [site contractor] Reigart undertaking extensive down-takings and potential structural bracing.

“Due to the condition of the Mackintosh building, this work will be undertaken in a highly-controlled way to minimise any potential risk of failure and be sufficient to achieve structural stability of the Mackintosh building.”

A statement has also been released by Glasgow City Council:

Remote surveys and close-in surveys from baskets suspended from cranes above the charred remains of the structure had revealed more substantial movement in its walls than previously thought.

They have concluded that a sudden collapse of parts of the building was likely, rather than possible.

The statement said: “There is now a requirement to at least partially dismantle sections of the building as a matter of urgency.

However, the dangerous nature of the site – which includes the Mackintosh building and the O2 ABC – is such that it will take around two days to devise a methodology for taking down the south facade, which is the most seriously affected part of the building.

“The west gable of the Mackintosh building has continued to deteriorate and the east gable has continued to move outwards.

“It is not possible at this time to say exactly when the work will begin, but it will be as soon as possible.”

Raymond Barlow, the authority’s head of building control, said: “With each passing day, a sudden collapse becomes more likely.

“It has become urgent that we take down the south facade. As the process begins, it will be likely that the other walls will also need to be reduced.

22 June 2018

Don’t Rebuild the Glasgow School of Art

“At the moment, the future of Mackintosh’s School of Art remains uncertain, whilst the cause of the fire is being investigated and the structural integrity of the little that remains is confirmed. There is anger and disbelief that such an internationally renown, Category A listed building, designed by Scotland’s greatest architect could have caught fire twice in four years and much talk about rebuilding as before, stone by stone.

Mackintosh believed that. “creative imagination is the most important” and wrote that the artist “cannot attain to mastery in his art unless he is endowed in the highest degree with the faculty of invention”. We should now accept that Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art is now gone for ever and in its place create a new school of art, worthy of the master.

That is how we best celebrate his memory and honour him as an architect of extraordinary invention. The call to create a Glasgow School of Art replica should therefore be resisted. I believe instead that there should be an international competition organised to design a new art school.”

Professor Alan Dunlop

22 June 2018

GSA Fire

Article on BBC Scotland website:

Glasgow School of Art walls may fall ‘without warning’

Glasgow’s head of building control Raymond Barlow said: “surveys in recent days have shown us that the West and East elevations remain of significant concern. This means that there is a risk that parts of the building might fall into Scott Street or Dalhousie Street. This could happen without warning.”

Also, a discussion on the building:

BBC 2 Timeline and Wall Warning

BBC 2 Timeline Programme – only available in some countries

Discussion last night – BBC2 Scotland Timeline on GSA Fire.

It’s right at the start of the programme so you don’t have to wait too long.

16 June 2018

Glasgow School of Art Fire – GSA Damage

The Glasgow School of Art suffers a catastrophic fire for the second time in four years, with more than 120 firefighters sent to fight the blaze on Friday night.

Aerial view looking west over the damaged buildings:
Glasgow School of Art Fire in June 2018
aerial photo courtesy of Police Scotland

The Scottish fire and rescue service said the fire in the Mackintosh building had spread to neighbouring buildings including the O2 ABC nightclub.

Glasgow School of Art Fire in 2018 – video on The Guardian website

It caught fire at about 23:15 on Friday.

All floors of the building were affected.

The building restoration was almost completed (due to complete in 2019), four years after the earlier and smaller fire.

Deputy assistant chief fire officer Peter Heath says there is damage to every part of the Mackintosh building, and the fire had such a grip of the building when they arrived here just after 23:15 last night, that they don’t know where it started nor how, report the BBC.

It seems unlikely that any restoration work will have survived this latest blaze.

Glasgow School of Art fire on YouTube

Glasgow School of Art Fire in 2018 – BBC news

22 Apr 2016

Glasgow School of Art Campus Plans

Glasgow School of Art Campus Development Plans

Stow College Building
photo Courtesy of Glasgow Kelvin College

Glasgow School of Art unveils major campus development plans:

· Restored Mackintosh Building returns as heart of expanded Garnethill campus.

· The Mackintosh Building to return to its original academic configuration as home for all first year students

· The GSA to extend campus to include the former Stow College site.

· Stow Building to be refurbished imaginatively, and bring together all pathways in the School of Fine Art in one building for the first time in over 50 years. BDP appointed as project architects

Glasgow School of Art Campus Development Plans

Glasgow School of Art Research Week Events
25 Mar 2016 – GSA unveils Research Week events including The Mackintosh Library: Reflection, Recovery, Restoration, and Research
• Public also get rare chance to see the recently released 3d visualisations of “the Mack” on the mammoth screen in Lab 1 at the DDS
• Two leading international voices on urbanism (Brian Evans, GSA and Jim Stockard, Harvard) engage in the social housing debate
• MEARU unveils latest initiative to help to improve understanding of the need to ventilate particularly in new-build housing.
Glasgow School of Art Events

The Mackintosh Building News
23 Dec 2015 – Work to strip out the west wing of The Mackintosh Building will commence in January 2016. It is expected to be completed by the end of April. The appointment of the Principal Contractor will be finalised in May 2016 with the restoration work set to begin in the summer.

Glasgow School of Art Restoration
23 Nov 2015 – The restoration of Glasgow School of Art building is due to cost up to £35m, with work projected to start next summer and be completed by 2018, according to a timetable issued by the restoration team, reports Construction News Scotland.

The original Glasgow Mac building:
Glasgow School of Art Building Rennie Mackintosh Building in Scotland Rennie Mackintosh GSA Building
photos © Adrian Welch, architect

22 Jul 2015

Prince Charles Visits the Mackintosh Building

The Glasgow School of Art’s Patron, HRH The Duke of Rothesay (Prince Charles), visits the Mackintosh Building

The Glasgow School of Art’s Patron, HRH The Duke of Rothesay (The Prince of Wales), visited the Mackintosh Building on the 24th of June 2015. The visit offered an opportunity for His Royal Highness to see the impact of last year’s fire on parts of the building and how, due to the heroic efforts of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the vast majority of it has survived intact. He also heard about the GSA’s restoration and recovery plans.

“We were delighted that HRH the Duke of Rothesay was able to visit us today,” says Professor Tom Inns, director of The Glasgow School of Art. “His Royal Highness has been hugely supportive of the GSA over the years. This was an important opportunity for us to show him how the heroic actions of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service ensured that Mackintosh’s masterpiece remains substantively intact.

In the library His Royal Highness also met David Page of Page \ Park, the architects practice that will lead the Mackintosh Building restoration design team. Architect David Page explained more about what the forensic archaeology had revealed in terms of how the GSA library had been created, and how this will inform Page \ Park’s approach to restoration work in this important space.

During his tour of The Mac HRH The Duke of Rothesay also learned more about the 3d visualisation of the building being created by the GSA’s world-leading Digital Design Studio. This will be a major resource during the restoration and remain as a rich archive of the work done to bring the Macintosh Building to its former glory for the students, the city and Glaswegians whose love of the building was so tangibly seen on the day of the fire.

31 May 2015

Mac Photos

The Mac Building Images

Scaffolding along the north facade of the Mac:

Glasgow Mac scaffolding

Glasgow Mac streetscape 2015

Glasgow Mac building scaffolding

Photos © Adrian Welch

31 Mar 2015

Glasgow Mac Rebuilding

Mackintosh Building Restoration Architects

Glasgow’s Page \ Park Architects to Restore the Mackintosh Building

There was a major step forward in the restoration of the Mackintosh Building today, Tuesday 31 March 2015, as The Glasgow School of Art announced the appointment of a design team led by Page \ Park Architects.

The appointment was made following presentations by a shortlist of five architecture practices earlier this month.

Glasgow School of Art Architects Shortlist:

John McAslan & Partners
LDN Architects
Page / Park

Tom Inns told the Scottish press he wanted The Mac library to be restored ‘as closely as possible’ to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s original.

The GSA estimates that the cost of restoring the building could reach £35m.

The Mac restoration fund was launched in June by Brad Pitt and former GSA student Peter Capaldi. The fund aims to raise £20m.

The Mackintosh Building recovery programme is expected to be completed by 2018.

31 Dec 2014

Glasgow School of Art Rebuilding

Rebuilding the Glasgow School of Art

Letter to the Glasgow Herald, by architect Thomas Orr, of traditonalist British architects ADAM architecture:

Dear Sir,

There are few countries in the world, and unfortunately Scotland now seems to be one of them, where following the destruction by fire of one of its most important architectural interiors, designed by one of its favourite architects, anything other than a faithful restoration would be contemplated (Build a new library at Mackintosh Building, not a replica, says leading architect. Saturday 20 December 2014).

Mackintosh’s work is of such importance that it is regularly included in books on architectural history. As an example, Professor David Watkin’s ‘A History of Western Architecture’ describes the Art School and library in detail, and includes the floor plans of the building and photographs of the interior of the library and the west elevation of the building (the library windows are on the west elevation). This, in a book on the subject of western architecture from ancient civilisation to the twenty first century.

The idea that the library should be redesigned because it is not a suitable working area for the staff and students does not stand up to scrutiny; there is a large and well-equipped library in another part of the School on the other side of the road.

A new design would undoubtedly ‘reference’ the Mackintosh original, and it is this approach which could be described as ‘Mockintosh’. Modernist architecture is unfortunately in vogue in Scotland, however this movement should not be allowed to take our history away as well.
The correct course of action is undoubtedly a scrupulous and scholarly restoration of a room of world importance.

Yours faithfully

Thomas Orr RIBA

The debate continues on Urban Realm: Glasgow School of Art Rebuilding

Mackintosh Debate
22 Dec – Debate about recreation or a new design for The Mac picks up with input by Alan Dunlop on TV
BBC S2014 Review of the Year, from 22.30:
“My own view is that we don’t restore it, you’ll create a pastiche. Think about something new…equally as beautiful”

A related link:

12 Nov 2014
Fourteen architecture studios have submitted for the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building renewal, reports the AJ today. The design studios will be ‘whittled down’ into a shortlist of up to eight bidders by Christmas.

26 May 2014

Glasgow School of Art Fire

Glasgow School of Art Sprinkler System

A sprinkler system was just weeks away from being installed in Glasgow’s art school when flames ripped through the building, reports The Sunday Post.

The GSA was set to install sprinklers that could have helped put the catastrophic blaze out in minutes. The final phase of a new “fire suppression system” installation was due to begin in June. It was ordered amid fears the historic building was becoming a tinderbox. However the art school, which is partly funded by the taxpayer, struggled to attract the finance needed to complete the project.

Ironically, as news broke yesterday that the school’s iconic library had been ruined in the fire, government ministers declared they would be making a significant donation towards the costs of renovating the building.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said it would contribute “in the millions, if necessary” to restore the “priceless gem”.

The Scottish Government’s Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop added: “We have already invested heavily in the school in recent years, contributing around £55m to the new Reid building and to conservation of the Mackintosh building.
“We know the restoration will run into millions of pounds, and we are committed to strongly supporting the funding effort required.”

The timing of the announcement wasn’t lost on artist and art promoter Richard Demarco. He said: “The building is like Scotland’s Sistene Chapel. Every part of it is a work of genius, a real one-off. The Mackintosh library, in particular, is irreplaceable. We have lost something priceless. Having spent £55 million on a new building they should have spent whatever it takes to get a sprinkler system in the Mackintosh building before now.”

The Glasgow School of Art annual report, published in 2013, said work had started on the installation of the fire suppression system. In its planning application to Glasgow City Council, officials at the school said the building had “been subjected to over 100 years use of paint, chemicals etc soaking into the fabric which undoubtedly has increased flammability.” The project involved the construction of pipes throughout the building that would spray a high pressure “mist” in the event of a fire and would be “completed during the next academic year”.

photo © Ruth Asher

Broadcaster Muriel Gray, Glasgow School of Art chairwoman, lamented the loss of the GSA library but said: “We have lost the iconic, and unique Mackintosh library. This is an enormous blow and we are devastated. But the almost miraculous news is that the majority of the building is still intact. Due to one of the most astonishingly intelligent and professional pieces of strategy by the fire services, they succeeded in protecting the vast majority of the building, apparently by forming a human wall of fire-fighters up the west end of the main staircase and containing the fire.”

Friday evening, 23 May 2014 – 23.45 GMT:

Glasgow School of Art Fire

GSA fire appeal launched by Edinburgh College of Art.

Also, a report on BBC News at Ten carries footage but no further developments, the windows of the hen run are clearly badly damaged with mullions and transoms destroyed in places, but some key information is what has happened to the Library, internal pictures and reports must surely come out on Saturday, it will have been damaged (looking at the footage and images), but how badly?

Fire at Glasgow School of Art on YouTube

Friday evening, 23 May 2014 – 21.35 GMT:

Updated statement from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service on the Mackintosh Building:

Firefighters battling the blaze at the iconic Macintosh Building in Glasgow City Centre have prevented the destruction of both the structure and the majority of its contents.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews are continuing work to fully extinguish the fire and save artworks.

With the incident under control indications are the firefighters’ efforts have ensured more than 90 per cent of the structure is viable and protected up to 70 per cent of the contents – including many students’ work.

Read more at Glasgow School of Art Fire statement – link to GSA Press page

Video looking east at the world-famous Modernist west gable, no dialogue:
Glasgow School of Art fire on YouTube

23 May 2014 – Fire crews tackled a fire at the A-listed Glasgow School of Art in the centre of the city.

Fire crews are tackling a blaze at the A-listed Glasgow School of Art in the centre of the city:
Glasgow School of Art Fire
photograph © Charlie Anderson

The fire appeared to have started in the basement of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building in Renfrew Street just before 12:30. Firefighters were at the scene within 4 minutes.

Smoke and flames emerged from many window openings, as well as through the roof and attic studios. Police cordoned off Renfrew Street. Thankfully it seems nobody was injured in the blaze.

Glasgow School of Art Blaze

From the photos it appears the fire is in the west side of the building, we hope to report more information soon, but this evening it seems clear from various reports that the Library on the far west side and the hen run at the top have been badly damaged, possibly destroyed. Also damaged are the main studio spaces in the west side of the building along the north facade.

Glasgow School of Art
photo © Adrian Welch

It is of concern that fire has spread from the basement to the roof, essentially fire damage might have occurred up the centre of the west wing, and smoke damage would most likely affect the entire building.

This is a world-famous building and we take regular architecture tours to see it outside and in, the key building in Scotland’s largest city.

We congratulate the fire service for such a speedy attendance at the scene, and thank the fire fighters for all their work.

This is devastating news for the students, but also for architecture. Scotland’s best building of the last 100 years (Cardross) lies derelict and empty, and the best building of recent centuries (the Mac) lies damaged and forlorn. However the outpouring of offers of help do show just how respected and loved this building is.

Students had been preparing for their degree show, the centrepiece of their work, which had been expected to open on Saturday.

Broadcaster Muriel Gray, former student and current chairwoman of the school, arrived and burst into tears when she saw the building in flames.

The Glasgow School of Art fire could have started when a projector burst into flames in the basement and ignited foam being used for an artwork.

Recovering the building and contents after the blaze will prove difficult for Professor Tom Inns who was only appointed director of the GSA on May 3, 2013, following Dame Seona Reid, who stepped down in 2013.

Report: Adrian Welch, architect

Glasgow School Of Art Links

Glasgow School of Art Competition

Glasgow School of Art Extension Building

Glasgow School of Art Refurbishment

Glasgow School Art Mac

Glasgow School Demolitions

Glasgow School Of Art Degree Show Review

Glasgow Mac Architecture Degree Show

Reid Building at Glasgow School Of Art by Steven Holl

Reid Building Glasgow School of Art

Glasgow School Art Book

Glasgow School of Art New Building

Steven Holl Architects’ Glasgow School Of Art Tops Out

Glasgow, May 8, 2013 – The new Glasgow School of Art, designed by Steven Holl Architects in partnership with JM Architects (Glasgow) and Arup Engineering, celebrated its topping out yesterday. The building stands across from the 1909 Glasgow School of Art in complementary contrast, forging a symbiotic relation. The new building will significantly enhance the teaching, learning and research facilities available to GSA students and staff and the access the public will have to their work.

Glasgow School of Art New Building
photo from architect

Inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s inventive manipulation of the building section to introduce and deploy light in a tremendous variety of inspiring and successful ways, the new design complements its neighbor, but moves forward using a new language of light. With well-proportioned studio and workshop spaces at the core of teaching and making art, these spaces are arranged in plan and section with natural side and top light for inspiring work environments.

“With great enthusiasm we celebrate the topping out of our new building for the Glasgow School of Art. We always felt a silent facade would contrast best with the masterwork of the Mackintosh building, with behind that calm street front, inspiring interior spaces for the students and faculty. It is a joy to see them in real light,” said Steven Holl.

Senior Partner Chris McVoy added, “We have reached the moment when one can see how the new building’s exterior profile resonates with the Mackintosh building and the cityscape, while inside the central circuit draws one up though the rhythm of spatial volumes of studios and social spaces in shifting, varying light.”

The design provides much-needed design school studios and offices, technical workshops and digital media labs, lecture facilities, communal staff and student areas, exhibition spaces and a new Mackintosh interpretation center. A “circuit of connection” throughout the new GSA links the studios and communal spaces, encouraging creative abrasion across and between departments that is central to the workings of the school.

Professor Seona Reid, Director of the Glasgow School of Art, said, “Over the last year the building site has been a hive of activity as this wonderful building has risen from the ground and revealed its elegance and originality. Today’s Topping Out ceremony is a landmark occasion for all the many people who have been involved in this exciting development. We are delighted to have Steven Holl and Chris McVoy with us today along with the team from JM Architects and representatives from Sir Robert McAlpine and Arup Engineering. We are looking forward eagerly to the time when we can occupy the building and watch it providing an inspiring new environment for the creative endeavors of our staff and students.”

The new building, rated BREEAM Excellent, integrates several innovative sustainable design features, such as storm water retention, collection and reuse, and green roofs. The driven voids of light provide natural ventilation throughout the building, eliminating the need for air conditioning. A new biomass plant serves the new Glasgow School of Art, the original Mackintosh building and the Bourdon Building.

The new Glasgow School of Art building, which is set to open for the 2013/2014 academic year, is Phase 1 of the Glasgow School of Art’s Estate campus plan. Steven Holl Architects with Glasgow-based JM Architects were unanimously selected in 2009 as the winning team in an international competition for the new Glasgow School of Art.

Glasgow School of Art Photos

GSA Expansion Site + Original Building

GSA photos, taken 28 Apr 2012:

Site cleared for the new building by Steven Holl Architects + jm architects:
Glasgow School of Art Building Glasgow School of Art Building
photos © Adrian Welch

Glasgow School of Art Building Glasgow School of Art Building Glasgow School of Art Building
photos © Adrian Welch

12 Jul 2011

Glasgow School of Art – New Head

GSA appoints new Head of Mackintosh School of Architecture

The Glasgow School of Art has appointed practicing architect and educator Christopher Platt as Head of the Mackintosh School of Architecture.

Chris Platt:
Chris Platt
photo from NC

Currently Director of studioKAP architects and Director of Graduation Studies in the Department of Architecture at The University of Strathclyde, Christopher brings to The Glasgow School of Art an ambition to develop further the international standing of the Mackintosh School and deliver an architectural education which is holistic, integrated and crosses practice and academia.

With over 30 years in practice both in the UK and internationally, half of which has been combined with working within architectural education and research, Christopher’s research interests include dwelling and place, detail, the design process and architectural pedagogy. These, together with his ability to present a “Glasgow voice” to architectural and educational issues, his commitment to practice-led, studio-based education and research, provides a good fits with the Mackintosh School’s existing areas of research strength in environmentally sustainable architecture, urban design and place-making and provides a platform for growth.

Speaking on his appointment he said “The Mackintosh School is moving into its most exciting phase so far and it is a tremendous privilege to be part of that and lead this hugely ambitious school in a challenging time for both the architectural profession and Higher Education.”

Professor Seona Reid, Director of the GSA who led the appointment panel said “the appointment of Christopher Platt to this important role follows an exhaustive recruitment process which attracted international interest. That we were able to find someone of Christopher’s calibre and standing already working in Glasgow reflects the international position which the city and the School have in architecture and design and the talent of those working within them.”

Christopher will join the GSA at the end of October.

Christopher Platt

Christopher Platt CArch DipArch RIBA FRIAS FHEA is Senior Lecturer and Director of Graduation Studies at the Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and founding director with Rod Kemsley, of the award-winning architectural practice studioKAP whose built work has been peer reviewed and published internationally.

He is a registered architect in Great Britain and was previously a member of the Architektenkammer in Berlin. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was made a Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects of Scotland in 2009. He is involved in both practice-based research and research-driven practice and writes on a wide range of issues overlapping practice and academia. He was apprentice, student and design tutor at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow, under Professors Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein.

He has lectured widely in the UK, Germany, Ethiopia, Malaysia and China. He has taught across all subjects in the architectural course and has been instrumental in bringing architectural education and practice closer within Strathclyde’s Architecture Department where he co-founded the Centre for 21st Century Practice to help facilitate research, pedagogy, scholarship and knowledge exchange across both disciplines.

He has been a visiting professor at the Bauhaus University in Weimar since 2004 and has previously held senior positions in architectural practices in England, Germany and Ethiopia where he has an ongoing consultancy with Abba architects. His academic appointments include invited memberships to several revalidation boards and external examination bodies.

His media appearances include TV, radio and YouTube. ‘Dwelling with Architecture’, a book co-written with Rod Kemsley exploring aspects of architecture and the architect through the issue of ‘dwelling’ will be published by Routledge in January 2012. Against the current climate of the specialist academic / generalist architect tension, he combines academic endeavour with research-quality architectural practice at studioKAP establishing a new, sustainable model for the reflective practitioner/educator in the field of architectural education. He represents both the academy and the profession within an educational landscape which traditionally finds it difficult to accommodate both at the same time.

The Glasgow School of Art and Mackintosh School of Architecture

Founded in 1845 as a Government School of Design and is one of the UK’s oldest higher education institutions for creative education and research. Today the GSA is one of the Europe’s leading university-level institutions for the creative education and research in architecture, design and fine art and is one of the few remaining independent art schools in the UK.

The excellence of GSA’s practice-based research was recognised in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, being ranked as the second largest visual art and design research community in the UK after the University of the Arts London with 25% of research considered to be world-leading and a further 25% internationally recognised.

The GSA has an international community of over 1900 students studying fine art, design and architecture and a growing postgraduate population of approximate 300 students. 20% of GSA students are from outside the UK.

Architecture has been taught at the GSA from 1903.

The School boasts Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein of Gillespie Kidd and Coia, Glasgow’s most notable modernist practice, amongst its most eminent alumni. More recent leading architects such as Charlie Sutherland and Charlie Hussey (Sutherland Hussey Architects); Ian Alexander and Henry McKeown (JM Architects), Gareth Hoskins (Gareth Hoskins Architects), Andrew Bow (Senior Partner, Fosters) and Andrew Whalley (Partner Grimshaw) are also graduates of the School.

The Mackintosh School of Architecture is consistently ranked by the AJ 100 as the leading architecture school in Scotland and top five in the UK and our standing is reflected in the number of international students who study with us. The Mackintosh School’s share of the international student market ranks it alongside the Bartlett UCL and the Universities of Nottingham, Sheffield and Oxford Brookes.

The School remains unique in UK architecture education by being part of an Art School – a Small Specialist Institution engaged in practice based learning and teaching, research and knowledge exchange across fine art, design, digital media and architecture subject domains.

Recognised by the Architects Registration Board and the Royal Institute of British Architects, the School is committed to developing students with the aptitude, enthusiasm and commitment for the demands of professional practice in the contemporary world.

Since 2005, 28% of Turner Prize nominees have been graduates of the GSA as have two winners – Richard Wright in 2009 and Simon Starling in 2005. Two of the nominees for the Turner Prize 2011, Karla Black and Martin Boyce, are GSA graduates.

GSA Contact

Address: 168 Renfrew Street, Glasgow G3 6RQ
Location: block north of Sauchiehall St around its midpoint, northwest city centre
Phone: 0141 353 4530

Glasgow School of Art Proposal on TV
Glasgow School of Art Building
picture : Steven Holl Architects
Glasgow School of Art Extension : Letter from William Curtis

Glasgow School of Art Extension
Glasgow School of Art Extension
picture : Steven Holl Architects
Glasgow School of Art Competition : Recommended for Approval

Glasgow School of Art Building
Date: 1897-1909
Architect : Rennie Mackintosh

GSA photographs by Adrian Welch taken on 16 Apr 2011:

Glasgow School of Art Glasgow School of Art Glasgow School of Art Glasgow School of Art
photos © Adrian Welch

Glasgow Art School is probably the most well known Charles Rennie Mackintosh building and certainly his most well respected. It is still an active School of Art, with a strong reputation.

Glasgow School of Art Glasgow School of Art Glasgow School of Art Scotland Glasgow School of Art building
School of Art building images © Adrian Welch, 230509

Powerful sandstone block with dark, woody interior – save the bright, white-painted ‘hen run’ high up on the south facade. The building achieves much of i6ts drama by being perched on a steep incline, and accentuating the verticality with soaring gridded oriel windows on the west facade (photos above).

Glasgow School of Art entry romantic sandstone modelling scottish modern architecture Glasgow School Art
School of Art building photos © Adrian Welch

Glasgow School of Art is a building of Global importance, recorded in most Histories of 20th Century Architecture.

The Art School was a powerful influence for Art Nouveau and later for Modernism. The GSA building was constructed in two phases, 1897-99 then 1906-09. Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a graduate of the GSA.

Glasgow School of Art interior
Art School interior – Library

Access to the School of Art building is restricted: contact the number below to arrange a Tour by GSA students. For Tours of other buildings in the cityclick on ‘walking tours’.

Contact Glasgow School of Art: +44 (0)141 353 4526

Glasgow School of Art renewal

Mackintosh Conservation & Access Project – Window on the Mac

Glasgow School of Art
Art School interior photo : Andrew Lee

Project Architects: PagePark
Interiors: ZM Architecture

Glasgow School of Art Book

Glasgow School of Art BBC Programme

Glasgow School of Art Refurb

Phase I of £8.7m Glasgow School of Art refurbishment is complete. The Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project will restore the GSA building to Rennie Mackintosh’s original design. Final building phase completed 2009.

Glasgow School of Art Rennie Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art Glasgow School of Art Glasgow School of Art
GSA photos © AW

Glasgow School of Art Architect : Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Glasgow School of Art Architectural Symposium
The Glasgow School of Art welcomes architects to centenary celebrations for the Mackintosh Building on 14 Dec 2009
The Glasgow School of Art is to host a Mackintosh Symposium on Charles Rennie Mackintosh and international student design competition from 10 – 15 Dec 2009 to mark the centenary of its iconic Mackintosh Building.

Stirling of Stirlings
RIBA Journal online poll winner : best British-designed building of the past 175 years is The Glasgow School of Art by architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
8 Jun 2009

Address: GSA, 167 Renfrew Street, off Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow Walking Tours – best of Scottish Architecture

Glasgow School of Art was built in two phases: East Wing 1897-99, West Wing 1907-09.

The School – and Rennie Mackintosh – was a major influence on Enric Miralles in his designs for the Scottish Parliament.

Mackintosh, Scotland
Glasgow School of Art entry facade – image from Mackintosh Tours 2004

Whilst studying at the Glasgow School of Art Rennie Mackintosh was introduced to two sisters – Frances & Margaret Macdonald. Rennie Mackintosh together with his friend Herbie MacNair formed an artistic alliance with Frances Macdonald & Margaret Macdonald: they became known as the ‘Glasgow Four’, and their Art Nouveau-inspired work became the hub of the ‘Glasgow Style’.

Glasgow School of Art Glasgow School of Art
Glasgow School of Art phase 2 building – west view ; southwest – photos © Adrian Welch

Glasgow School of Art context : Sauchiehall Street Buildings

In 1896 the ‘Glasgow Four’ were invited to exhibit at the London Arts &
Crafts Society Exhibition.
In 1899 Frances Macdonald & Herbie MacNair married and moved to Liverpool.
Mackintosh started the Glasgow School of Art.
In 1900 architect Rennie Mackintosh married Margaret Macdonald.

In 1903 Rennie Mackintosh moved permanently to the Willow Tearooms in Sauchiehall Street where he designed all the interior fittings plus some exterior.

Historic Glasgow : best Glasgow architecture of the past

Contact: Glasgow School of Art, E-mail – [email protected]

Rennie Mackintosh architect

Comments / photos for the Glasgow School of Art Building – GSA fire news – The Mac damage page welcome.