Fears grow for Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Building

Entrance to the Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh building

A second huge fire in four years has gutted the Glasgow School of Art's iconic Mackintosh Building, raising the possibility of its demolition. 

The blaze broke out on the evening of 16 June, within a few months of the building's planned reopening after the completion of extensive restoration work on its famous interior after a 2014 fire. First impressions were that the structural damage to the building was on this occasion much more extensive, with experts expressing doubt that the building could be safely restored. 

There was disbelief in Glasgow that the city's most celebrated work of architecture, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and completed in 1909, could have again been left vulnerable to fire. This turned to anger when it was revealed that sprinklers had not been fitted in the building. 

Some hope was offered by the fact that a detailed digital map had been created of the building in the wake of the first fire, from which it could effectively be reconstructed. Yet it was reported that such a project would cost in excess of £100 million. 

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the fire as 'heartbreaking' and promised that the Scottish government would do 'anything we reasonably can to help ensure that the building has a future'.

18 June.