Staff and officials are still assessing the extent of the damage and loss at The ‘Mack’, Glasgow School of Art’s iconic Mackintosh Building, which was devastated by fire.
While much of the building appears to be intact, initial reports
suggested that the celebrated library, an internationally
recognised beacon of Art Nouveau decoration and furnishing, and the
studio above it, both housed in the west wing, were entirely lost
in the blaze on May 23, along with its contents and numerous
The Hen Run, a glass-fronted gallery on the top floor providing
inspirational views for artists and designers across the city,
which housed many of the studios for women, was also destroyed.
The Mackintosh Library was home to a number of the larger,
oversized books from the GSA's Special Collections, along with all
their pre-1985 journals. It also housed publications on and by the
GSA's staff and students, both past and present, along with
graduating students' degree show catalogues and rare and archival
items, such as periodicals dating back to the early 19th century
and publications about the architect/designer Charles Rennie
An early estimate of the loss puts its value at around £50m.
Historic Scotland has sent in specialist conservation staff to
work with GSA archivists to see what can be salvaged and
Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, has announced that as a
first step the government will pledge up to £5m in matched funding
for the GSA's restoration fund.
As the GSA authorities set their emergency recovery programme in
motion, they released a statement saying: "The impact of the
Mackintosh Building fire on students, staff, the city and the wider
creative community cannot be underestimated and this is a complex
and rapidly changing situation."
Muriel Gray, the broadcaster and former GSA student who chairs
the governing body, praised the fire service for protecting the
vast majority of the building and the archives, which had been
"As for the library, Mackintosh was not famous for working in
precious materials. It was his vision that was precious and we are
confident that we can recreate what was lost as faithfully as
possible," she said.
Designed by Mackintosh and opened in 1909, the A-listed building
is one of Scotland's best-loved landmarks and widely acknowledged
as his masterpiece.
Those wishing to contribute to the initial £1m restoration
appeal fund may do so online via www.theBigGive.org.uk
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