Page\Park Architects to restore the Mackintosh building

mackintosh-buildingThe Glasgow School of Art has chosen Page\Park Architects to lead the restoration of the fire-damaged Mackintosh building.

The firm saw off competition from Avanti Architects, John McAslan and Partners, LDN Architects LLP and Purcell, who were all shortlisted in January, to restore the art nouveau building which was badly damaged in the blaze last May.

The appointment was made following presentations by the five practices earlier this month.

The art school is continuing with efforts to raise £20 million towards the eventual cost of restoring the Mackintosh building and its contents.

An investigation by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service concluded it was caused by flammable gases from a canister of expanding foam.

The report, released in November, said the gases ignited as they came into contact with the hot surface of a projector in Studio 19.

The Glasgow-based architects have an extensive track record in both restoring and reinvigorating major historic buildings. They have also worked across the spectrum of Mackintosh’s designs from the domestic at the Hillhouse, through commercial at the former Glasgow Herald offices – now the Lighthouse, to his finest cultural and academic work at the School of Art itself – as lead designers for the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2007-9).

Professor Tom Inns, director of The Glasgow School of Art, said: “The team assembled by Page\Park Architects impressed us not only with their deep knowledge of the building, but of the wider work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. They displayed a superb methodology to the task of restoration – in particular their room by room analysis of the structure, materiality, craftsmanship and intent of Mackintosh in designing, specifying and overseeing the construction of his masterwork.

“They also bring an understanding of the building’s particular importance to Glasgow – its people and history – as well as of its status as an international design icon.

“Although the design team will lead the programme, the GSA will have a fundamental role in the development of the detailed restoration plan. We were particularly impressed by their openness to work in partnership with the GSA as we set out on an exciting journey of discovery.

“There will be many fascinating questions to be addressed as we undertake this complex restoration project. We are looking forward to working with Page\Park Architects and the design team to explore how we can best meet the needs of the GSA in the 21st century whilst remaining true to Mackintosh’s astonishing vision.”

David Page, head of architecture at Page\Park Architects, added: “Page\Park Architects are delighted to have won the commission to lead a team to restore the world renowned Charles Rennie Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art. We have, over many years, had the privilege to work on and in the context of the Mackintosh legacy, the highlight of which will now be the opportunity to bring The Glasgow School of Art into splendid re-use for its students and staff, the people of Glasgow and the huge audience beyond the city.”

The design team will now work with The Glasgow School of Art to develop the detailed plan for the restoration. Work is expected to start on the building in spring 2016 with the aspiration that there will be academic access from 2017-8.

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