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GSA report recommends a 'faithful reinstatement' of The Mackintosh Building

October 22 2021

GSA report recommends a 'faithful reinstatement' of The Mackintosh Building

The Glasgow School of Art has shared recommendations that the best option for the future of the Mackintosh Building lies in a 'faithful reinstatement' following the completion of a Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) which concluded: "The case for a landmark development that not only reinstates, but builds on, the illustrious heritage of the original Mackintosh building is overwhelming."

The report, authored by a hub-West led consultant team including commercial real estate agent Avison Young, examined the full range of actions from a bare minimum approach to green lighting a new build either in-situ or elsewhere on campus. That process saw three viable options shortlisted; faithful reinstatement, new build or a 'hybrid' model incorporating elements of both - all of which were weighted against a 'do minimum' approach.

The preferred option would see the Mackintosh masterpiece rebuilt as close to the original as practicable while taking advantage of the opportunity to embrace digital technology and sustainability. This would serve to both enhance the student experience as well as maximise heritage value and spur regeneration of Sauchiehall Street.

Outlining the full scope of works the report describes: "... a full reinstatement of the Mackintosh Building including retained/re-use of the remaining structure. This includes the re-use of the existing foundations and remaining stone/masonry external walls and remaining internal walls and floors where possible. The existing external walls will be supported by a new temporary facade retention structure, if necessary, to allow the construction of a new internal frame which the external walls will be tied back into to create a new solid structure.

"Iconic spaces, such as the library, board room, director’s office, Mackintosh Room, lecture theatre, Studio 58, the Hen Run, loggia, museum and Studio 11 will be reinstated together with all the other spaces including studios. This option also takes account of being compliant with the latest building regulations."

The Mackintosh Building remains cordoned off amid stabilisation works by contractor Reigart to preserve as much fabric as possible following two devastating fires but work to deliver the new vision is not expected until 2027 at the earliest.


Photography by McAteer

Debris and rubble has been carefully removed for storage off-site
Debris and rubble has been carefully removed for storage off-site
Detailed reinstatement plans exist from the time of the first fire
Detailed reinstatement plans exist from the time of the first fire


Fat Bloke on Tour
#1 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 22 Oct 2021 at 11:28 AM
I wonder what Paris would make of our efforts to bring this building back into use?

Is the article really suggesting that it will be 9 years after the event until the rebuild starts?

"work to deliver the new vision is not expected until 2027 at the earliest."

Does this statement tell the full story?
#2 Posted by Mick on 22 Oct 2021 at 11:41 AM
Pastiche, pastiche , pastiche
#3 Posted by Bemused_Citizen on 22 Oct 2021 at 11:48 AM
@UR - is the full SOBC available to view online somewhere? The photos are fascinating to see, it would be great to have a browse through the report.
#4 Posted by Chris on 22 Oct 2021 at 11:52 AM
#2 Cultural buildings have been reconstructed after disasters throughout history. I don’t see how this is any different.
#5 Posted by UR on 22 Oct 2021 at 11:57 AM
Certainly. The full release is available here -
Brian Sewell
#6 Posted by Brian Sewell on 22 Oct 2021 at 12:08 PM
#2 Yeh, of course reconstruction is flawed in the sense of 'authenticity', however, given the simple choice of what it looked like then as opposed to what it could look like now - I'd take the former course of action and especially as it is a world-wide icon. For an example of how successful rebuilding turn of the century buildings can be then have a look at the castle project in Buda.. it's a no-brainer, really.
#7 Posted by E=mc2 on 22 Oct 2021 at 14:23 PM
Third time lucky hopefully

Do find the timescales a bit odd given Page/Park and the team have done the majority of the leg work for the first rebuild
#8 Posted by Dave on 22 Oct 2021 at 14:43 PM
Lets hope they don't burn it down a third time...
#9 Posted by MV on 22 Oct 2021 at 17:45 PM
#2 it’s not imitating another building from a previous period in time. Restoration not imitation.
#10 Posted by HMR on 25 Oct 2021 at 08:24 AM
Dresden Frauenkirche - rebuilt and no pastiche. It can be done.
#11 Posted by youcantfitquickerthanakwikfitfitter on 25 Oct 2021 at 10:21 AM
Hopefully a more competent building contractor is selected this time.
#12 Posted by E=mc2 on 25 Oct 2021 at 13:31 PM
Not sure it was the contractor, more the security detail I heard. Time will tell when full report is published.
#13 Posted by Wendy on 25 Oct 2021 at 15:08 PM
Did they ever announce what actually cause it to burn down the second time?

There were unconfirmed rumors that people were being allowed to have regular parties in the building site before it burned down the second time.

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