Christopher Platt, co-founder of studioKAP, has announced that he is stepping down as the head of architecture at the Mackintosh School of Architecture
However, Platt, who has been head of Glasgow’s school of architecture since October 2011, will retain a role as chair of architecture at the school.
A spokesperson for the Mackintosh said: ‘[Platt] will continue to contribute to the academic, teaching and research work in the Mackintosh School of Architecture and we will be appointing a new head in due course.’
In an exclusive interview with the AJ in 2012, Platt was critical of the quality of contemporary Scottish architecture and spoke of how he hoped the Mac could play a part in improving it.
He said: ‘There are very few contemporary Scottish buildings of truly international quality. We could name them on perhaps just one hand. We need to develop a culture, and this school can play a part that encourages and commissions good architects and buildings.
‘From that base the occasional masterpiece will emerge. It doesn’t matter how many architecture policies we have – they don’t have any in Switzerland – it’s more about developing a receptive culture and the Mac has a crucial role in that.’
During his time as head of architecture, Platt, a member of the Mackintosh Restoration Committee, played a part in the selection process which saw Page\Page commissioned in 2015 to rebuild Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s fire-damaged, Grade A-listed building.
As Platt steps aside, there is disquiet among students about the future of the Glasgow School of Art, the home of the Mackintosh. Three months ago GSA students held a protest over their concerns that the institution ‘seems to value its brand more than the education of its students’.
The students argued that the school’s services, studio space and ratio of students to teachers were not keeping pace with its expansion at a time of increasing tuition fees, and that there was a lack of workshop facilities. They said the protest was necessary because there was no dialogue between senior management and students on the issues.
Platt is also a visiting professor at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and has lectured across the UK and in Germany, Ethiopia, Malaysia and China.
Alan Dunlop, chair in Contemporary Architectural Practice at Liverpool
’Very sorry to read this. Chris Platt is one of the very few heads of school today who has actually built anything. He is a talented practitioner, highly respected in the profession with a portfolio of award-winning building to his credit and consequently respected by the students. I hope this is a good move for the ’Very sorry to read this. Chris Platt is one of the very few heads of school today who has actually built anything. He is a talented practitioner, highly respected in the profession with a portfolio of award-winning building to his credit and consequently respected by the students. I hope this is a good move for the Mac and wish him well in his new position.’