Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow School of Art to expand its Garnethill campus

Glasgow School of Art Image copyright Glasgow School of Art
Image caption A view of the mackintosh building before it was badly damaged by fire

Glasgow School of Art (GSA) has announced plans for a major expansion of its city centre Garnethill campus.

The art school is in talks to purchase the former Stow College building in nearby West Campbell Street.

The heart of the expanded campus will be the refurbished Mackintosh building, which was damaged by fire in 2014.

A £20m fundraising drive to restore the Mackintosh has raised £17m. That target will now be increased to £32m to cover the restoration and campus expansion.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A view of repair work to top floor of the west wing of the Mackintosh building
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A view of the Mackintosh Lecture Theatre in the west wing basement

GSA director Prof Tom Inns said: "Over the last 10 years the GSA has undertaken phased developments of the campus in Garnethill, refurbishing some buildings, replacing others that were no longer fit for purpose and constructing the Reid Building.

"The Mackintosh building fire required the school to pause and reconsider, but we are now moving forward to create a newly extended campus with the restored Mackintosh building at its heart."

'Support collaboration'

Prof Inns said the aimed for acquisition of the former Stow College site was "a fundamental element of our new estate development strategy".

"It will mean that the GSA can bring together all pathways in the School of Fine Art in one specially-adapted building for first time in over 50 years," he said.

"It will also mean we can create the space to support collaboration across our disciplines as well as with other academic, third-sector and industry partners."

Prof Inns added: "This next phase of our campus development will help us achieve our academic aspiration to become a global leader in studio-based learning and research, provide the space to accommodate a 25% increase in our student numbers by 2018, and importantly provide the GSA with space for future growth."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A view of plaster casts in the east wing of the Mackintosh building
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Opened up studios 42, 43, 44 in the west wing, first floor of the Mackintosh building
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Top floor view of renovations in the mackintosh building

GSA hopes to complete the purchase of the former Stow College site in the next few weeks.

If this goes ahead, refurbishment works will begin in the summer, with the School of Fine Art moving into the building from autumn 2017.

A main contractor will be appointed in June to begin work on refurbishment of the Mackintosh building with the aim of having access in the 2018/19 academic year.

The iconic Grade A-listed art nouveau Mackintosh building was badly damaged by fire on 23 May 2014.

An investigation by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service concluded the blaze was caused by flammable gases from a canister of expanding foam.

The report said the gases ignited as they came into contact with the hot surface of a projector.

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