GSA unveils major campus development and Stow College acquisition

The former Stow College
The former Stow College

The Glasgow School Art (GSA) has announced major plans for its campus on Garnethill and the acquisition of the former Stow College.

At the heart of an extended campus will sit the restored Mackintosh Building with the building returning to its original academic configuration and as a home for all first year students.

The plans will also see the GSA purchase the former Stow College site with a first phase bringing together all pathways of the School of Fine Art in a refurbished Stow Building.

The news was announced as the GSA launched the Mackintosh Campus Appeal, a £32 million fundraising campaign, with £17m already secured, which will enable the institution to recover from the impact of the fire and meet its academic ambitions through a sensitive and authentic restoration of the west wing and upgrading of the east wing of the Mackintosh Building, the purchase of the Stow College site, and the development of studio and workshop space in the Stow Building.

GSA director, Professor Tom Inns, said: “Over the last 10 years the GSA has undertaken phased developments of the campus in Garnethill, refurbishing some buildings, replacing others that were no longer fit for purpose and constructing the Reid Building. The Mackintosh Building fire required the School to pause and reconsider, but we are now moving forward to create a newly extended campus with the restored Mackintosh Building at its heart.

“The acquisition of the former Stow College site is a fundamental element of our new estate development strategy. It will mean that the GSA can bring together all pathways in the School of Fine Art in one specially-adapted building for first time in over 50 years. It will also mean we can create the space to support collaboration across our disciplines as well as with other academic, third sector and industry partners.

“This next phase of our campus development will help us achieve our academic aspiration to become a global leader in studio-based learning and research, provide the space to accommodate a 25 per cent increase in our student numbers by 2018, and importantly provide the GSA with space for future growth.”

The GSA is expected to complete the purchase of the former Stow College site in the next few weeks and has appointed Gardiner and Theobald to provide all consultancy services for the conversion. BDP have been appointed as architects for the first phase refurbishment works. Work will begin in summer 2016 with the School of Fine Art moving into the building from autumn 2017.

Page\Park were appointed as design team lead for the Mackintosh Building in March 2015. They are working with the GSA to develop the plan for the restoration of the west wing and the upgrade of the east wing of the building. The main contractor from a shortlist of five will be appointed in June 2016 and work will begin on site immediately after that. The GSA expects to have access to the building in the 2018-19 Academic year.

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