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GSoA appoint Page\Park to oversee Mack rebuild

March 31 2015

GSoA appoint Page\Park to oversee Mack rebuild
Glasgow School of Art has handed the design commission for a rebuild of the fire-damaged Mackintosh building to Page\Park after the practice saw off competition from Avanti, John McAslan + Partners, LDN and Purcell to win the high profile job.

The practice was chosen to lead the design team following submission of presentations by all five shortlisted firms, during which Page\Park exhibited a scale model of one of the bay windows in the Mackintosh library.

Detailed decisions will now be taken as to the extent and nature of works to the building, with work expected to begin in spring 2016 for completion by 2017/18.

Outlining some of the discoveries he’d made in the course of a number of studies following the fire David Page said: “What’s remarkable about the columns of the original library is that when you look at that you think it’s one piece. But it’s actually made of eight pieces put together behind a masking plate, Mackintosh disguised the fact he’d built it economically.

“What staggered us and which would never have been understood previously is that all those pieces are nailed together just like a garden fence.

"Our conclusion of this analysis is we think we know enough to do a successful reconstruction of this room. It’s up to others to determine whether it should be done or not.”

Although decisions as to how slavishly the rebuild should match the original have yet to be taken it will incorporate the latest technology and building systems... including a mist suppression system which would be active in the rebuilt library from day one.
Page\Park's scale model of a library bay
Page\Park's scale model of a library bay


#1 Posted by james on 1 Apr 2015 at 08:58 AM
Without wishing to re-open old old covered ground on this matter (as life, in a way, has to move on), i did catch a snippet of Professor Alan Dunlop looking verra swish on Reporting Scotland last nicht who said, non-verbatim, 'IF there was a time-machine and Mackintosh could travel in time to the present day, then he would design the library differently.'
Well, I thought to mahsel, somewhat prosaically, but there is no time-machine, Alan, and Mackintosh is long dead, which also means he is most certainly not alive now.
Ad absurdum. Just sayin, ken.
#2 Posted by BookmanBill on 1 Apr 2015 at 19:31 PM
Is Absurdum the follow on book from Curious Rationalism ?
I belive his next and final book in the trilogy is call Absolute Irrelevance (ism)
Bill S
#3 Posted by Bill S on 1 Apr 2015 at 19:46 PM
I really admire the attention to detail Page / Park Architects took over their entry. It bodes well for the final proposals, regardless of whether it is a sensitive re-build or a contemporary interpretation. The level of understanding that have proven for just one element is exemplary, and I think it's great that are making all the drawings, sketches and notes freely available in the public domain as that is a continuation of what Mackintosh would have wanted in the library proper. If they continue that understanding for the rest of the buildings make up then I have high hopes indeed.
Darth Vader
#4 Posted by Darth Vader on 2 Apr 2015 at 13:22 PM
Did all 5 competing architectural practices get paid a fee for their submissions?
I think Mackintosh would have wanted that too.
Big Chantelle
#5 Posted by Big Chantelle on 2 Apr 2015 at 15:27 PM
@James #1

Yep. Alan Dunlop is showing his astounding arrogance to suppose what another human being would do if he were alive today. Mr Dunlop does not have the authority to do that. No one does.

Why can't concrete lovin' modernists just accept reality for what it is -- the GSOA building was designed the way it was by MacKintosh. There's no need to suppose anything about it. It existed as it was. All these architects coming in with their lefty mumbo jumbo are only trying to impose their weak, feeble architecture onto a masterpiece in order to get themselves some attention because without being parasites of this building, they'd never get international acclaim on their own merits because none of them had Charles Rennie MacKintosh's talent as an architect/designer.

To Alan Dunlop, if yer reading this: why not go and design something from scratch of your own accord. Make your own legend instead of trying to impose your own (weak) ideology onto this building.Time machines don't exist. You're not God -- so stop telling people what another human being who died a century ago would do today. You have no right to. Nor the ability to.

Chantelle's dad
#6 Posted by Chantelle's dad on 3 Apr 2015 at 12:25 PM
@5 I agree that Dunlop comes across as arrogant and don't believe he's built anything that merits much attention (although he does some nice drawings). I also agree that the Mack should be rebuilt as it was.
I really object though to your own arrogance and tone so your comments seem more than a bit rich. I don't think you add much to the debate other than ill-informed bluster with no apparent serious understanding of the history of architecture, much of which you profess to love. Perhaps if you reined it in a little then you might swing some to your opinions rather than making everyone miserable.
Anna Mary
#7 Posted by Anna Mary on 8 Apr 2015 at 08:36 AM
Well said everyone. If Alan Dunlop wishes to pay for the construction of a time machine, perhaps he could design that instead to keep him happy. This would mean the 100s of thousands of pounds from Government and the public can be used to rebuild the wonderful centerpiece, museum and visitor attraction that is in Mack library. It is unlikely this money would have been gifted from the public to build something different.
#8 Posted by David on 9 Apr 2015 at 10:01 AM
Watched the construction of the Reid building programme again last night on Sky+, which reinforced my thoughts that the building should be slavishly restored.

We've had the new build, designed by the Egotect, so no need for anything else other than repaying Mackintosh by restoring his masterpiece.

As Holl said, this is one of the most important buildings in the UK. I'd go further than that and say it is one of the most important buildings in the world. It's a small part of why the Art School is so famous around the world, and it's a part of what makes Glasgow a fantastic cultural tourist destination.

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