Fire devastates Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art for a second time

Breaking news: Glasgow School of Art, the seminal building of Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, has been engulfed by fire, just four years after it was severely damaged by another blaze.

More than 120 firefighters were called to the historic college last night, Friday 15 June 2018, to tackle a blaze that is understood to have spread throughout the entire building.

Peter Heath, deputy assistant chief officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, told the BBC that the fire “had seriously and significantly engulfed a large part of the building”.

“The fire was extensive, the conditions were very arduous and it was clear that this was going to be a very serious and ongoing incident,” he said. “The building has been extensively damaged.”

Glasgow School of Art revealed the news via its Twitter feed yesterday: “There is a fire at the Mackintosh Building. The fire brigade are currently on scene. We will report back with news updates as soon as possible.”

The fire had spread from the ground floor all the way up to the roof, and had also reached nearby buildings, the Campus nightclub and O2 ABC music venue.

Videos and photographs posted on Twitter showed large flames visible above the roof.

The building was soon to complete a major restoration led by Page\Park, to restore it from the previous major fire, which happened on 23 May 2014. It suffered extensive damage, including the destruction of the library, its most famous room. The works are estimated to have cost £35 million.

According to Heath, it is likely that all the restoration work is likely to have been destroyed.

Glasgow School of Art was completed in 1909 and is the best-known building designed by Mackintosh, arguably Scotland’s most famous architect. Last week was the 150th anniversary of his birth, which was celebrated across the architecture and design industry, as well as in Scotland. Dezeen published a special series to mark the occasion.

Image is by Calum Tomeny.

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