Glasgow School of Art set to restore Mackintosh vision

Glasgow School of Art’s iconic Mackintosh building is set for an £8.7m transformation that will see it restored to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s original design.

As part of this ambitious conservation and refurbishment project for the school, a number of studio spaces will be returned to student use as administrative functions are relocated elsewhere.

Largely unseen archives and collections will be made available to the public in new museum and exhibition spaces as annual visitor numbers are set to rise to 33 000, an increase of 30 per cent, according to the school.

The design team comprises an internal project management team, project architect Page & Park Architects and interior architect ZM Architects, while MKW Design will be responsible for the design of the interpretation centre.

Work will be carried out in four stages, with the final phase seeing the creation of a new visitor reception and interpretation centre opposite the Mackintosh building.

‘A recent estates audit conducted by the school highlighted the Mackintosh building as being “fit for purpose” more than 100 years since it was built and this project will ensure its continuing legacy as a world-class art school building,’ says Seona Reid, director of the Glasgow School of Art.

‘The new facilities for the Mackintosh Research Centre will significantly extend access to our archives and collections, charting the development of art, design and architecture education over the past 150 years. It is also home to a collection of non-Mackintosh works of art, design and architecture,’ Reid adds.

Phase one of the restoration will include new facilities such as a furniture museum, a retail outlet and temporary exhibition space as well as environmentally-controlled storage for the school’s archive and collections.

Later phases will reinstate Mackintosh’s vista along the main corridor spine of the building. An original partition between studios will be reintroduced and tradesmen will be retained for repairs.

• Mackintosh building work kicks off following more than a decade of planning and fundraising
• Design team includes Page & Park Architects, ZM Architects and MKW Design
• Fundraisers include Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Enterprise Glasgow, European Regional Development Fund, Glasgow City Council Growth Fund and Historic Scotland
• Phase one is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2007

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