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Mackintosh Building unlikely to reopen before 2018

DDS GSA Mack Laser Scan 7   sectional view through the Mackintosh Building south to north
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The first students are not expected back into Glasgow School of Art’s (GSA) fire-ravaged Mackintosh Building until 2018 with the full restoration now scheduled to complete in early 2019   

The timescale for the refurbishment of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s grade A-listed building, which is being restored by Page\Park, was revealed this week as contractor Kier Construction was appointed to deliver the £25 million project.

Following the fire in May 2014, the team had originally hoped that students would be able to return to the landmark in late 2017.

However a spokesperson for the project said that ‘aspiration’ was now unlikely, though academic uses could restart in the building in 2018 before the restoration works were fully finished. 

Works will be split into two phases and will include the refurbishment of the fire-damaged stonework and the replacement of the roofs over the east and west wings.

Initial works have already begun, with the main upgrades starting in 2017.



Kier Construction was chosen ahead of Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering, Bam Construction, John Graham Construction and Sir Robert McAlpine, which were shortlisted in March.

Mackintosh restoration senior project manager Liz Davidson said: ’It was clear that an enormous amount of preparation, research and genuine understanding of the project had been undertaken and demonstrated.’

’The final assessment was made on the basis of a 60:40 quality:cost appraisal, and the winning tenderer therefore had to strike a fine balance between offering good value and exceptional quality.’

She added that Kier Construction, which has worked on the Royal Opera House and the Edinburgh College of Art, submitted ‘a tight, extremely well-structured, highly competent and confident bid – combined with a competitive tender price.’

Kier will come on site at the GSA in the first week of July.

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