Glasgow School of Art rebuilding, Fire Inquiry, Rennie Mackintosh Architect, Refurbishment photos, Date

Glasgow School of Art rebuilding news

24 January 2023

Location: Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Mackintosh Building update

Images: over 5,500 of tonnes of material have been removed from the building and the structure evaluated stone by stone

Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh Rebuilding News

The first phase of physical preparation works for the rebuild of the Mackintosh Building has been completed with massive amounts of fire-damaged material removed from the site, and a complex and meticulous evaluation of the building undertaken The Glasgow School of Art confirms today (24 January 2023).

Following the completion of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s investigation work within the building in late 2021, the GSA was able to focus on the mammoth task of evaluating the building on a stone by stone, brick by brick basis to identify what could be retained and what needed to be taken down in parallel with undertaking a Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) to determine the way forward for the rebuild.

Phase 2 of the project, which includes enabling works for the faithful reinstatement of the building – the preferred option identified in the SOBC – is now underway.

Debris in the Building, May 2019:
Glasgow School of Art rebuilding
photo : McAteer

Glasgow School of Art rebuilding – GSA in November 2022 looking down:
Glasgow School of Art rebuilding GSA
photo : McAteer

Work is currently nearing completion on the down-takings of the library tower which was rebuilt as part of the 2014 restoration. This should make it possible to reduce the size of the external scaffolding on Scott Street. A complex project, it has taken around eight months and required a precise series of operations, carefully undertaken by expert contractor Reigart.

In the coming months work will then begin to reinstate the internal structure, which will enable the building to become self-supporting, and to construct a temporary roof.

“Over the last two years we have been working in parallel on clearing and assessing the building and undertaking important preparation work for the rebuild including commissioning a Strategic Outline Business Case which identified Faithful Reinstatement as the most appropriate way forward for the building, and commencing the procurement of the three key teams, who will work with us on the rebuild,” says Professor Penny Macbeth, Director of The Glasgow School of Art.

Our vision for the Mackintosh Building is that it will be home for a GSA Graduate School bringing together our postgraduate students with researchers from across the globe who are making world-leading, innovative work. We will also bring back to their original use key spaces such as the drawing studios, which will be timetabled for all students, recognising that drawing is already a distinctive and defining attribute of the GSA graduate.

“Partnership will be at the heart of the rebuild, and we will continue to collaborate with a wide range of people as we work to bring back this remarkable and inspirational building for our students and staff and a major resource for our community and for the city.

“ We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners who have been working tirelessly on the building, especially our building contractor, Reigart and our structural engineers, Narro Associates as well as our neighbours who we appreciate are being impacted at every stage of this project.

“We are committed to reinstating the building through retention of as much of the original fabric as possible,” adds Eleanor Magennis, GSA Director of Estates. “The last year has seen us progress the huge task of assessing every part of the building whilst starting the key work streams for the faithful reinstatement. In the coming weeks we will begin the process of reinstating the internal structure, which supports the building, and construction of the temporary roof structure.

“Alongside these preparation works inside the building an expert team has also been developing the strategic brief for the rebuild within the context of our overall Estates Strategy, central to which is a commitment to making a positive contribution to Garnethill and progressing our aim to achieve net zero.

Glasgow School of Art rebuilding Facts

Facts and Figures:

In excess of 5,500 of tonnes of fire damaged material have been removed from the site

This equates to 300 skips which, if laid end to end, would stretch from Garnethill to beyond the High Street.

The kentledge – the weights used as ballast that are holding the base of the scaffold in place in the Library tower – includes iron blocks salvaged from the dismantled Titan and Goliath shipyard cranes that stood at Clydebank and Port Glasgow respectively.

The volume of the library tower now cleared out is such that a four-storey tenement block could be inserted into it and there would still be room to walk around it.

Mackintosh Project Governance

The GSA Board of Governors has overall and final authority for all works on the Mackintosh Building and this aligns with the primary responsibilities set out in The Glasgow School of Art’s Statement of Corporate Governance. The Governors will be informed by the recommendations of the Business and Estates Committee which receives reports and recommendations from the Project Development Board alongside inputs from the Mackintosh Steering Group.

Project Development Board

The Project Development Board comprises a range of internal key stakeholders who have knowledge and understanding that can help successfully shape the project vision for the Mackintosh Building. They have an important role in supporting the Project Sponsor in making decisions and providing both challenge and approval on issues affecting the project. The Project Development Board will be responsible for assisting with business case development, briefing and testing concepts presented by external consultants.

Convenor and Project Sponsor: Professor Penny Macbeth (GSA Director)
Vice Convenor: Allan Atlee, (Deputy Director Academic)
Project Director: Eleanor Magennis (Director of Estates)
John Ayres (Head of Technical Support)
Irene Bell (Programme Leader, Innovation School)
Justin Carter (Teaching & Learning, School of Fine Art)
Polly Christie (Archives and Collections Manager)
Martin Clancy (Head of Capital Projects)
Alan Horn (Director of Development)
Professor Steve Love (External Engagement, School of Simulation and Visualisation)
Professor Alastair Macdonald (Research and Innovation, School of Design)
Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam (Deputy Director, Research and Innovation)
Gordon McLoughlin (Director of IT)
Andrew Menzies (Director of Finance)
Rory O’Neil (President Glasgow School of Art Students Association)
Scott Parsons (Director of Strategy and Marketing)
Professor Sally Stewart (Head of the Mackintosh School of Architecture)

Mackintosh Project Steering Group

The Project Steering Group comprises external stakeholders who have a diverse range of knowledge, skills and experience. They have an important role in providing an external perspective, insight and questioning, contributing to the Project Development Board’s successfully shaping of the project vision for the Mackintosh Building. The remit of the Steering Group will evolve in line with the development of the Business Case.

Interim Chair: James Sanderson: Partner in architects practice Sanderson Borland and member of the GSA Board of Governors
Ken Ross: Property Developer and Energy Renewables specialist
Paul Brewer: Chairman of Hub South East Scotland Ltd,
Carol Connolly: Divisional Director of Development and Sustainability Glasgow City Council
Kim Hitch: Director of Projects Architecture and Heritage Dept, The Princes Foundation.
Stephen Hodder: Founder of architects practice, Hodder Associates, and former RIBA President
Professor Neal Juster: Vice-Chancellor at the University of Lincoln
Professor Hanif Kara: Co-founder and Design Director of AKT II and Professor in Practice of Architectural Technology at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard
Iain Marley: Chief Executive of hub West Scotland Limited.
Stuart Patrick: Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce
Stuart Robertson: Director of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society
Dale Sinclair: Director, Head of Digital Innovation-WSP

The Glasgow School of Art

Glasgow School of Art

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Glasgow School of Art Fire in June 2018
aerial photo courtesy of Police Scotland

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Glasgow School of Art Fire in 2018 – BBC news

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Stow College Building
photo Courtesy of Glasgow Kelvin College

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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.

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GSA photos © AW

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