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Tributes pour in for architect Mark Baines

April 10 2020

Tributes pour in for architect Mark Baines

Glasgow has lost a staunch defender of its heritage and built environment with the passing of Mark Baines following a short battle with cancer.

An architect, theorist and urban studies teacher Baines emerged as a leading voice advocating respect for Glasgow’s built legacy through his role as chair of the Alexander Thompson Society (ATS) while also shaping the city’s future, most prominently through work on the 2008 Merchant Building at Glasgow Cross with Gholami Baines.

As a graduate and later course leader at the Glasgow School of Art Baines developed a strong affinity for his city, cultivated through an early career at Gillespie Kidd & Coia, while building a reputation as a writer, curator and thinker.

In a statement the ATS wrote: “The Society received the terrible news that our friend and chair, Mark Baines, sadly passed away on 6th April. Mark made a vital contribution to the cultural life of Glasgow through his architecture, exhibitions, and teaching. We will miss him dearly.”

Reacting to the news Page\Park wrote: “Mark’s unwavering stoical dedication to the city’s backcloth for urban life as the background for the walkable and social city, will be a source of inspiration for all now who seek to help the city rediscover itself after this dark time in Glasgow’s story is passed.”

Paying personal tribute Johnny Rodger, professor of urban literature at the Glasgow School of Art added: “Although his own tastes and indeed practice were of a contemporary not to say modernist outlook, Mark Baines worked tirelessly to broadcast to the world the genius of Thomson’s work and his importance to architectural history.

“Mark was a respected and admired colleague, and was recognised by his fellows for the perspicacity of his vision, the originality and acuity of his judgement and the consistency of his approach.”

Baines was recognised with a RIAS lifetime achievement award for teaching in 2013.


Sue Pearman
#1 Posted by Sue Pearman on 10 Apr 2020 at 12:17 PM
Condolences to his family and friends. A great loss to teaching at the Mac and to Glasgow.
#2 Posted by David on 10 Apr 2020 at 15:53 PM
A great loss as he was one of the strongest advocates of Glasgow's historical built environment. Most others in the profession are more concerned with post war buildings and have more of a disregard for the Victorian city. Sorry that he won't see the restoration of the Egyptian Halls or the Caledonia Rd Church; he had campaigned tirelessly to try and bring about their restoration, I really hope it won't have been in vain. I believe he also spearheaded efforts to salvage pieces from Thomson buildings being demolished in the 80s and 90s.
Chris Stewart
#3 Posted by Chris Stewart on 10 Apr 2020 at 17:21 PM
So sad to hear that Mark passed away, he was my fourth year tutor at the Mack away back in 1982. We were in awe of him back then, so knowledgable and helped us really understand what design was all about. My memory is of a kind, gentle man who was dedicated to his students.
Condolences to his family, a great loss.
Alan Millar
#4 Posted by Alan Millar on 13 Apr 2020 at 01:20 AM
I worked with Mark in the late 70's at IOR, I was always amazed at how he could install good design into the humblest of projects, his dedication to the cause of architecture was ingrained, this gentle giant will be dearly missed.
Colin Mackenzie
#5 Posted by Colin Mackenzie on 15 Apr 2020 at 15:58 PM
A great pity Mark didn't build more; he had a very good eye for design in all its aspects.
Thoughtful, elegant and rigorous.
I remember a very neat low cost scheme he did for Maryhill around 1980 in particular. A modern take that fitted in seamlessly with Glasgow's Victorian proportions and colours.
Architectural education's gain was at the cost of a built record that should have been much more.
Gordon Hodge
#6 Posted by Gordon Hodge on 17 Apr 2020 at 10:31 AM
Happy memories including visiting Villa Sayoye when a semi ruin and a Johnson house he insisted he and I make our way to during the Seventies Mac Paris trip. Many others good times including more recently his typically modest chat at the Isi meals of the auld Mac team along with Murph, Vic, Sanny and Bob. A sad and all too early loss.
David Nimmo
#7 Posted by David Nimmo on 17 Apr 2020 at 11:40 AM
Our thoughts are with his family and colleagues. It is a grievous loss to architectural education and Glasgow, at a time when they least needed it. How many people are so intelligent, yet so unselfish?
Gokay Deveci
#8 Posted by Gokay Deveci on 19 Apr 2020 at 23:39 PM
A great loss to teaching at the Mac and to Glasgow. Thoughtful, knowledgable and rigorous educator.

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