Fire ravaged Art School building should be ‘faithfully’ restored

Art school
The fire in 2018 was the second to devastate the Mackintosh building in just four years

By Lucy Ashton

BBC Scotland news is reporting that Glasgow School of Art’s fire-ravaged Mackintosh building should be “faithfully” restored, a business strategy report has found.

GSA bosses said this was the “best option” for the building, which was destroyed in a blaze in 2018.

They hope it can reopen between 2027 and 2032, following construction and renovation work.

The fire took hold as the building neared the end of a £35m restoration, after an earlier blaze in 2014.

A strategic outline business case sought input from the local community, heritage sector, Glasgow City Council, the Scottish government and GSA alumni, students and staff.

Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building was destroyed by fire in June 2018

The final shortlist of deliverable options included faithful reinstatement, hybrid or a new build.

The report concluded: “The best option is to undertake a faithful reinstatement within the practical constraints of the regulatory environment, while innovating to make sure that digital technology and sustainability are at the building’s heart.”

It also said restoring the landmark building would act as a “catalyst for regeneration” of Glasgow’s Garnethill area and Sauchiehall Street.

Investigations into the Mackintosh building fire were hit by further delays last year.

Art School
The GSA is one of only three UK Art schools to consistently rank in the top ten of the QS world rankings for Art and Design.

GSA director Professor Penny Macbeth, said: “The original art school building was central to the GSA’s learning, teaching and research for over a century, as well as being an important part of Glasgow’s cultural life and heritage.

“One of the recommendations of the Scottish Government’s Culture Tourism Europe and External Affairs Committee report was that we should examine a range of options for the future of the building.

“The strategic outline business case has done just that, subjecting each of them to a rigorous analysis.”


  1. Goes on fire, spend £35 million restoring building and just before completion building goes on fire again and is absolutely gutted.

    Don’t know about other folks but this is lunacy. you couldn’t make this up. And they try to say that Scotland is some type of first world country.

    Place is a joke, and no wonder we don’t manufacture much in Scotland. Our time has passed. There’s better, smarter, more educated places than here.

    Who’s like us?

  2. Or more locally the five star Cameron House fire where two guests were tragically killed in the inferno.

    Ah, who’s like us. A proud people, with another sad burning and no answers. And lest you think I jest about Bonnie Scotland’s stellar position as a first world nation ( Not! ) did anyone hear about the newly refurbished luxury five star Cameron House roof leaking some five or six weeks ago.

    I’ll bet you didn’t.

    Seems that with all our Bonnie Scotland five star renovation someone forgot about the roof, did a bad job, and it rained, and the water poured in and damaged all the newly redecorated great room and adjacent bar.

    Oh dear, who’s like us?

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