GSA’s Mackintosh building to be partially dismantled

Glasgow School of Art’s historic home at risk of ‘sudden collapse’

June 28, 2018
Glasgow School of Art fire
Source: Getty

Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building is to be partially dismantled after surveys revealed that structural damage caused by a fire earlier this month was “significantly greater” than initially thought.

Work is due to start in the coming days because “a sudden collapse of the building is likely, rather than possible”, Glasgow City Council said.

The south facade of the building is to be taken down and parts of the east and west gables are also expected to be removed, but it is hoped that the famous Renfrew Street frontage will survive.

The art nouveau masterpiece building was gutted by fire on 15 June, just four years after a blaze destroyed much of the famous Mackintosh library.

In a statement, the city council said that surveys “have revealed more substantial movement in the walls of the building than previously thought”.

“This building has undergone substantial stress in recent days. With each passing day, a sudden collapse becomes more likely,” said Raymond Barlow, the authority’s head of building control. “It has become urgent that we take down the south facade. As the process begin, it will be likely that the other walls will also need to be reduced.

“We do not know what effect this will have on the rest of the building so I have to be clear this site remains dangerous and is becoming more dangerous.”

In a statement, the school said that the surveys had revealed that damage to the Mackintosh building was “significantly greater than had initially been anticipated from ground visual assessment”.

The aim, the school said, was “to achieve structural stability of the building”.

chris.havergal@timeshighereducation.com

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