GSA redevelopment unveiled
September 17 2010
Designed by New York based Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with local practice JM Architects and Arup Engineering, the new building will replace the Newbery Tower and Foulis building directly opposite Mackintosh’s acclaimed masterpiece on Renfrew Street.
The team were appointed last September following an international design competition with the aim of enhancing teaching, learning and research facilities available to GSA students and staff.
Publicly accessible exhibition and interpretation spaces will also be fashioned under the plans.
Holl has taken inspiration from the inventive manipulation of light evidenced in the 1909 Art School to arrange studios and workshops with natural side and top light, supplemented by “driven voids” which conduct natural light and ventilation direct to the buildings core.
Holl said, "The site opposite the Mackintosh Building calls for a unique, inspiring and stimulating twenty-first century architecture with a great sensitivity to light, detail, and material. The new Glasgow School of Art Building will provide contemplative space for individual creativity and thought, and spaces of collective interaction for students, staff and the Garnethill community."
Below a full description of the new space has been provided by the GSA:
“The design began with the Studio space - the core of teaching and making art. Well-proportioned studio and workshop volumes are arranged in plan and section with ideal top and side light. They are adaptable with potential for individual studios to open into larger groups, and arranged with functionally adjacent support spaces in rhythm with the studio/workshop volumes. They are illuminated with north light, with shafts of warm south, east or west light. Studios are generally positioned on the north façade provided with large inclined north facing glazing to maximize access to the desirable high quality diffuse north light throughout the academic year. Spaces that do not have a requirement for the same quality of natural light, are located on the South façade (opposite the Mackintosh building) where access to sunlight can be balanced with the occupants; needs and the thermal performance of the space through application of shading or informed shaping of openings.
”Centralised facilities for the GSA campus, including exhibition spaces, seminar spaces, digital media and the “Window on the Mackintosh” centre are located on the ground floor in a carefully considered balance that forges an identity as an academic building, for the school and students, but that also invites the public inside.
”Located one level below, a 300-seat lecture theatre has direct access to the lobby as well as the centralized workshop and associated assembly spaces. Immediately above the ground floor are the school directorate and administrative offfces (on the south) whilst studio space occupies the entire north side at this level and moving up through the building. The new GSA refectory is located on level 2 above the offices, bringing the entire school up and into the building on a daily basis.
”Along the South elevation, at the same height as the Mackintosh main studios, there is a landscape loggia in the form of a Machair that gives the school an exterior social core open to the city. Natural vegetation with some stonework routes water into a small recycling water pond which will also reflect dappled sunlight onto the ceiling inside. Meanwhile inside the ‘Driven Void’ light shafts deliver natural light through the depth of the building providing direct connectivity with the outside world through the changing intensity and colour of the sky.
”The exterior of the building will be coated in a thin skin of matte glass referencing Mackintosh’s stone skin on the 1909 building. The material, used to stunning effect by Steven Holl Architects on the Vanke Centre Chenzen, will soften the light on the Mackintosh building ensuring the studios continue to benefit from the quality of light as envisaged by the designer.”
Further images of the project are available to view on the GSA's Flickr site.