Dezeen Magazine

Glasgow School of Art by Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Glasgow School of Art "will be rebuilt" says school's director

The Mackintosh Building will be rebuilt as a fully working art school says Tom Inns, director of the Glasgow School of Art.

The announcement from the Glasgow School of Art ends weeks of speculation over what will happen to the historic building, which was devastated by a fire last month.

"The Mackintosh Building will be rebuilt and will be a working art school," Inns told Dezeen.

"It is as vital a part of the Glasgow School of Art's future as it has been for the last 100 years. We will rebuild so that 'the Mack' can continue to provide creative inspiration to students, staff and visitors."

The Glasgow School of Art was largely destroyed in a fire on 15 June 2018. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell

The Glasgow School of Art is the best-known building designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scotland's most famous architect. Following a fire on Friday 15 June 2018 that largely destroyed the building, there has been a debate over the future of the structure.

Restoring the building is estimated to cost £100 million – almost three times as much as the £35 million cost of the last renovation, which was undertaken following the previous major fire in 2014, and which was almost complete.

Some Scottish architects and academics, including Alan Dunlop, have argued that the building should not be rebuilt, and that a new structure should be created instead.

However since the fire there has been growing momentum to rebuild the school of art in a manner that is faithful to Mackintosh's original design. Last week David Chipperfield joined these calls and a petition was launched with the tagline #BringBackMack.

Although further details will not be available until the full extent of the damage is known, Inns' statement makes clear that the Glasgow School of Art intends to rebuild.

"While the fire has devastated Charles Rennie Mackintosh's magnificent building we want everyone to know that we will bring it back," said Inns.

"We have been overwhelmed by the many messages of support we have received from people from all walks of life and from around the world," Inns continued.

"Mackintosh's art school is Glasgow's art school and we have never underestimated its importance in terms of influencing the creative practice of those who work in it, nor the affection in which it is held by Glasgow, and its global position as a centre of creativity and culture."

Damage to the school of art was revealed in drone footage following the fire. Image is courtesy of Police Scotland

The fire caused extensive damage, which was revealed in drone footage, and work to dismantle the dangerous sections of the building has now begun.

Once the building is made safe and structurally stable work will begin on creating a plan for rebuilding the structure.

"Work is underway now to secure what we can of the building as quickly as possible. We will keep everyone informed as the project to bring it back develops," Inns continued.

This year is the 150th anniversary of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh's birth. Dezeen took a look back at his most significant projects, including the Glasgow School of Art, to mark the occasion.