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Full public inquiry recommended over Glasgow School of Art blaze

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March 8 2019

Full public inquiry recommended over Glasgow School of Art blaze

MSPs have called for a full public inquiry to be launched into last year’s Glasgow School of Art fire after the Scottish parliament’s culture committee found that the school had failed to prioritise protections for the Mackintosh Building.

The landmark went up in smoke for a second time in June last year, mid-way through an ambitious £36m restoration project instigated after another fire in 2014.

Committee convener Joan McAlpine said: "The board of Glasgow School of Art were custodians of this magnificent building, one of the most significant to Scotland's rich cultural heritage. They had a duty to protect Mackintosh's legacy.

"Glasgow School of Art must learn lessons from its role in presiding over the building, given that two devastating fires occurred within their estate in such a short space of time."

An investigation into the causes of the latest conflagration pinpointed the lack of an adequate risk assessment being conducted as a contributory factor, as well as the absence of a mist suppression system.

Ventilation ducts which exacerbated the 2014 fire were also found to have been still in place at the time of the 2018 blaze.

The school has steadfastly defended its stewardship of the building throughout the hearing.

7 Comments

Big Chanterell
#1 Posted by Big Chanterell on 8 Mar 2019 at 11:34 AM
""Glasgow School of Art must learn lessons from its role in presiding over the building, given that two devastating fires occurred within their estate in such a short space of time."

Ooft. Literal burn. The board should be held accountable if found in any way culpable.
jimbob tanktop
#2 Posted by jimbob tanktop on 8 Mar 2019 at 18:37 PM
I saw Ms Gray's response and am delighted to see that the humility bypass was a complete success.
Cadmonkey
#3 Posted by Cadmonkey on 9 Mar 2019 at 18:23 PM
I’m not sure the GSoA was to blame for the fire.
My bet is that the contractor was in possession of the site, so it was their responsibility to guard against fire.
But the School of Art should have made sure the project (incl. the builder) had adequate Insurance to cover the worst eventuality, rather than relying on Nicola Sturgeon’s far too quick vote seeking offer of public cash in the immediate aftermath.
jimbob tanktop
#4 Posted by jimbob tanktop on 12 Mar 2019 at 13:50 PM
#3
Brilliant. It's not the fault of the people charged with the care and upkeep of the building that it burned down, then burned down again but it *is* that fault of Nicola Sturgeon.

That's some fancy prism you've got there that allows you to see the world that way.
cadmonkey
#5 Posted by cadmonkey on 12 Mar 2019 at 16:00 PM
jimbob
That is clearly not what I am saying.

Do you think the Governors should have been wandering around the contractors building site with buckets full of water?
No, it is the contractors responsibility.

And if the buildings were insured, why was Nicola Sturgeon offering bucket loads of public cash in the aftermath? It was a clear example of populism and pandering to the existing faltering and potential(ha ha) independence voters?
Pretty transparent.
BobtheBuilder
#6 Posted by BobtheBuilder on 13 Mar 2019 at 13:21 PM
I heard that senior members of GSA staff had been using the building for entertaining that very night...
CADMONKEY
#7 Posted by CADMONKEY on 13 Mar 2019 at 15:11 PM
Bob
I don't think that really matters.
Responsibility for the building will surely be with whoever was contractually in possession of the site.
Who they let on to use it is their call.
(I wouldn't be surprised if it was the SNP)

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