The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) library designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh that was gutted by a fire in 2014, is set to rise like a phoenix from the ashes in a style the great Art Nouveau mastermind would have approved of.
The rebuilding of the American tulipwood structure will once again shine the spotlight on the great artist’s work, which spawned a fashion for Art Nouveau-inspired jewellery, furniture and textiles.
Architects’ Journal reported that the restoration began with much research of items retrieved from the fire and an archaeological survey of the burnt building. Matching this information with a consultation on Mackintosh’s designs, photographs and letters, helped the team to prototype the new bay.
Natalia Burakowska, architectural assistant at Page/Park, the company restoring the School of Art building, was quoted by the journal as saying: “We soon realised that precious charred timbers had a considerable amount of information to reveal. We were excited to learn about timber joints, nailing techniques, timber sizes, and clever assembly strategies adopted by craftsmen working on site.”
After the tragic incident of the GSA fire three years ago, the construction of the new bay will be a celebrated occasion, shining the spotlight on Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s design legacy once again.
The installation of the new library is expected to begin in spring of 2018, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh’s birth, with a new exhibition at the famous Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum opening in March next year, and the opening of Mackintosh at The Willow in Sauchiehall Street on June 7th.