Five architects shortlisted to restore Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art

News: the Glasgow School of Art has named five architects in the running to lead the restoration of the Mackintosh Building, which was devastated by fire last May.

Avanti Architects, John McAslan + Partners, LDN Architects, Page\Park Architects and Purcell have all made the shortlist of firms in the frame for the restoration of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's iconic building, which suffered serious damage after the accidental fire.

London studio Avanti Architects is currently also working on the rehabilitation of St Peter's Seminary in Cardross, a Brutalist building by Gillespie, Kidd & Coia, while London and Manchester-based John McAslan + Partners previously carried out a restoration of Mackintosh's 78 Derngate in Northampton.

Glasgow office Page\Park has also previously worked on a Mackintosh building, with its conversion of the Herald Building into The Lighthouse architecture and design centre, and was responsible for the recent refurbishment of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

"All of the shortlisted practices have a strong record in undertaking major restoration and work in historic buildings together with an impressive commitment to the use of new technology and the finest craftsmanship," said Liz Davidson, the restoration project director at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA).

Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh building
Image courtesy of Glasgow School of Art

"They each bring the level of experience and expertise that is vital to the restoration of Mackintosh's masterpiece. We are now looking forward to hearing more about their proposed approaches."

The firms are due to submit their plans in March and the successful bid will be revealed at the end of the month.

The fire broke out on 23 May 2014, believed to have been started in the basement before travelling up the west side of the building and across the roof.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was able to save most of the structure and around to 70 per cent of the contents, allowing students to return to the building a week later. The damage was mainly to the west wing, including the library and a studio above it.

Working with heritage body Historic Scotland, the GSA's Digital Design Studio laser scanned the building's Western Gable to create a 3D plan of what survived the fire, while specialist stonemasons have been working to repair sections of the fire-damaged stonework.

Top image of Glasgow School of Art is by Finlay McWalter.