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Mackintosh students to help with extension build

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Steven Holl’s £50 million extension to the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) is to become an ‘operating theatre’ for its students 

The contractor on the scheme has agreed to a ‘mutually beneficial exchange’ to integrate the building’s construction into the student learning experience.

Chris Platt, head of Mackintosh School of Architecture at the GSA, confirmed that Sir Robert McAlpine would open its door to students as part of a two year plan to engage with the school.

Platt said: ‘I’m keen to get as much potential as possible out of the project on our doorstep. It will be like an operating theatre for the students.’

He added: ‘The project offers a creative potential beyond the mere experience. It is a crucial learning component and will help with the understanding of the building as it is built.’

Click here to read a full interview with Chris Platt by Rory Olcato

Meanwhile Kevin Singh, head of school at Birmingham School of Architecture, said its students were doing something similar with its new school of architecture which is currently under construction. He said: ‘Our School is moving into a new £57 million purpose-built building at Eastside which is being built by Willmott Dixon for completion in September 2013.

‘As part of the tender process, BCU Estates asked both contractors to include opportunities for student engagement in their bids.

‘Our undergraduate students have been visiting the construction site on a monthly basis from the start of the project. Willmott Dixon have proved to be incredibly generous with their time hosting our students as well as students from some of our construction related courses. Next year, interior design students will be visiting the building too.

he added: ‘The design and construction team have also shared information such as the BIM model. In an age where employability is a huge concern I would encourage any school to take advantage of any similar opportunities if they can.’


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