Glasgow School of Art students affected
by fire to receive "phoenix" bursaries

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Glasgow School of Art fire

News: the Scottish Government is working with the Glasgow School of Art to provide support for students who were handing in their final projects at the Mackintosh-designed building when it caught fire last Friday.

The government has also pledged to "match fund" up to £5 million in money raised for the restoration of the building, which is considered one of the world's most important pieces of architecture and Charles Rennie Mackintosh's masterwork.

Glasgow School of Art fire

Students were installing their final pieces of the academic year and handing in portfolios for assessment when the fire broke out, destroying two of the structure's architectural gems – the library and the glazed "hen run" passage at the top of the west wing of the building – as well as student work.

"In the aftermath of Friday's fire the GSA was overwhelmed with offers of support including offers of studio space from the Scottish art schools and from a broad portfolio of other art colleges in the UK, Europe and USA," said Tom Inns, director of The Glasgow School of Art.

Glasgow School of Art fire

"The beating heart of the GSA is its students and our priority is to ensure that all those most seriously affected by the fire are given the opportunity to rebuild their practice," said Inns.

The bursary scheme has been named Phoenix after the mythological bird that is born in the ashes of a fire.

More about the Glasgow School of Art:

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  • Steven Holl completes extension to Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art

Glasgow School of Art confirmed that the 1897-99 part of the building – including the Director's Office and Studio, Mackintosh Museum, Mackintosh Room, Board Room and Furniture Gallery – has survived intact, as well as the school's archives. The Mackintosh Lecture Theatre in the west wing of the building, which dates from 1907-1909, has also survived.

"The Mackintosh Building of The Glasgow School of Art is truly unique and last week's fire was a devastating blow for students and staff as well as the wider arts and architecture community worldwide," said Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond. "The very severe damage to the building's iconic library, in particular, is a cultural loss of significant magnitude.

Glasgow School of Art fire

"The 'Mack' is an extraordinary building. It is an architectural gem and the artistic heart of Glasgow. It can and will be restored, and everything which can be done must be done to deliver this."

Alumni of the school have paid tribute to the building, which has been described as the life force of the Scottish city's arts and design scene.

Glasgow School of Art fire

Ian Callum, head of design for car brand Jaguar and former GSA student, said watching the events of the fire unfold was "unbelievable and unbearable".

"I have spent so many inspired hours in that beautiful library," said Callum. "I know the fortitude of the people of Glasgow will one day bring the GSA back to its formal glory."

Glasgow School of Art fire

Information on how to offer support to the school and its students is available on the school's website.

Read our coverage of the fire.

Top photograph by Dan Brown, all other photographs by Paulina Brozek.