The Mackintosh Building at the GSA -Britain's favourite building of the past 175 years RIBA Journal 2009



Conservation and Access Project 2007-2009 >

The Glasgow School of Art is an icon of late 19th and 20th Century architecture.  This status is confirmed by Pevsner in "Pioneers of Modern Design", through specialist and public interest in Mackintosh, and through Category A listing.  As Mackintosh's largest commission, the construction of the building in two phases (1896 and 1909) illustrates the early and mature design talents of Mackintosh and reflects his complex intellectualism. 
The GSA accepts the challenge and responsibility of owning one of the iconic buildings of the 19th and 20th century and ensuring that it continues to be used for its original purpose, motivating and inspiring future generations of artists, designers and architects, whilst welcoming more visitors.  Between 2007 and 2009 the School completed the first three phases of an £8.7m Conservation and Access project to:   Conserve and protect the building fabric, and restore original features

  •  Increase access to enhance the visitor experience and learning
  •  Improve the care, exhibition and access to the archives and collections
  •  Meet future visitor demand
  •  Manage visitor access to a working art school

The fourth and final phase of the project is the completion of a new Visitor Centre as part of the Steven Holl designed Reid Building. Sitting opposite the Mackintosh Building the Reid Building is the first phase of the GSA's plans for a new urban campus forming a consolidated, cohesive and identifiable presence on Renfrew Street centred around the Mackintosh Building.

The Mackintosh Conservation and Access project was supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, European Regional Development Fund, Scottish Enterprise Glasgow, Monument Trust, the Gannochy Trust and many individual donations from trusts, foundations, friends and alumni.