Guardian: Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art building will be rebuilt

buildingGlasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building, which was gutted by fire last month, will be rebuilt, the school’s director, Tom Inns, has told the Guardian.

The Guardian writes:

The commitment ….. ends weeks of speculation about the fate of the 110-year-old building, after many experts raised fears that the scale of the blaze would make it impossible to rescue and rebuild it. In his first interview since the fire, Inns said: ‘We’re going to rebuild the Mackintosh building. There’s been a huge amount of speculation about what should happen with the site and quite rightly so, but from our point of view and that of the city of Glasgow, it is critically important that the building comes back as the Mackintosh building.’

Acknowledging the ‘anger and frustration’ felt by many, Inns said he was confident that the many questions raised about how the building could have suffered another devastating fire, after a previous blaze in 2014, would be answered by an ongoing investigation by the Scottish fire and rescue service, and he said the rebuild costs would be covered by insurers. He also said assurances from Kier Construction, the contractors overseeing the Mackintosh restoration after the 2014 fire, that an adequate fire safety strategy was in place had been ‘professionally checked’ by the art school…

Those in favour of bulldozing the site and conceiving an entirely new building have argued that replicating the Mackintosh piece by piece would turn the school into a museum piece. But Inns said the intention was for the building to reopen as a working part of the art school campus.

‘To have the Mack building you have to have the building and you have to have the space inside it, the creative education.’

Other experts have looked to Germany’s postwar experience, in particular the Neues Museum, which combines a respectful restoration with imaginative new additions. But Sally Stewart, the school’s head of architecture, pointed to the difficulties of disturbing the building’s delicate internal ratios. ‘The beauty of the Mack was that in its design it really considered the internal environment needed for the disciplines that were housed in it. In terms of the light within the studios, how the studios were scaled, to tinker with any of that is really tricky.’…

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