Opinion: The Glasgow School of Art Should Not Be Restored

June 18, 2018

The Glasgow School of Art building made me realise I must study architecture there and nowhere else. I began as a first year student in September 2008, in my graduating year Mackintosh’s masterpiece burned down for the first time.

I feel like I grew up in the Art School, I always felt a little intimidated when walking around, like I was being watched. The building slowed you down; it made you a quieter person. The layers of history were there, through the dried-on paint, scratched woodwork and echoes down the long corridors. The hen-run was hot and humid.   

The thing that niggles at me is that I can’t imagine that the qualities of the original building can be reconstructed, either after the first fire, the second or...

Maybe we should leave it as a ruin, a remnant of the past, the next St. Peter’s Seminary. Or we could commission a radical architecture competition for how to re-use the burnt out shell. It needs to be confident, bold and different, just like Mackintosh intended. A forward-looking Glasgow School of Art, for the future.