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Glasgow School of Art finds temporary home

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Glasgow School of Art has confirmed plans to move into the city’s Tontine East Building whilst work is carried out at the fire-damaged Mac

The school has submitted a change of use application to turn two of the office building’s floors into studios for painting and printmaking students who were previously housed in the Mackintosh building.

The 6,000m2 office building, which is currently vacant, was constructed in the early 1900s and is grade B-listed. It was selected for its central location, natural light, and high ceilings.

Architects had previously called on the University of Strathclyde to lend the use of its almost-empty former school of architecture building as a home for the Mac’s students. But a spokesperson from Glasgow School of Art confirmed it had not been considered.

Students could be housed in Tontine East for up to five years while repair and restoration work takes place at the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed grade A-listed art school which was partially destroyed by fire three months ago.

More than 200 fire fighters worked to save the building and much of its contents after the blaze broke out on 23 May.

Although 90 per cent of the structure was saved, the fire destroyed the Mackintosh library and caused millions of pounds-worth of damage to the western end of the Art Nouveau landmark.

In a statement, Ryden, which submitted the change of use application on behalf of the Glasgow School of Art, said repairs on the Mackintosh Building could take up to three years. They have applied for temporary consent to turn the building into a school for the next five years.

No alterations will be made to the listed building, but the internal spaces will be divided into ‘work-pods’ using stand-alone partitions.

Earlier this month the Glasgow School of Art announced it will start the hunt for an architect to restore the 1909 Mackintosh Building in September.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • . . . and let's hope modelling with inflammable materials restricted to outside in the car park while they get the sprinklers installed.

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  • It seems a pity that the management of the Glasgow School of Art did not deign to respond to the offer from the owner of Egyptian Halls for that threatened commercial masterpiece by the city's other great architect, Alexander 'Greek' Thomson, to be the School's temporary home.
    Gavin Stamp

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