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Former student donates 'most accurate drawings ever' of Mac

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The team working on the restoration of Glasgow’s Mackintosh Building has been handed the most accurate architectural drawings of the structure ever made

The set of 22 A1 sized drawings, mostly at 1:100 scale were completed by George Cairns during his time as a Phd student at the Mackintosh School of Architecture during the early 1990s.

Cairns, who is now adjunct professor at QUT Business School in Brisbane, has donated the drawings of the burnt out landmark as it was completed in 1909 as accurately as could be determined from available records.

Liz Davidson, senior project manager for the Mackintosh Building Restoration project, said: ‘We are keen to continue to access as much information as possible about the building in planning our approach to the restoration.
‘Cairns’ has already been generous in his time in liaising with the design team and these particularly detailed drawings are going to be an invaluable source of information.’

The drawings will be held by the Archives and Collections at the Glasgow School of Art, which will use them as a resource for research, teaching and learning.

Alison Stevenson, Head of Learning at The Glasgow School of Art, said: ‘The GSA Archives and Collections has a wealth of material relating to the Mackintosh Building, but we are always grateful for additions that help to deepen our understanding of the building.’

Cairns, who is currently visiting Glasgow for the inaugural Leverhulme International Network of Contemporary Studies symposium, told AJ that he didn’t believe that restoring the building as it had stood was realistic.

He said: ‘As a functioning art school, surely they don’t want to reinstate the tiny little professors’ studios.
‘There is this myth of it being a building which is not of its time and totally unique. My view is that it is a fantastic building but it is not unique and it is certainly of its time.’

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