image courtesy Alan McAteer

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Community Liaison

If you wish to get in touch with GSA regarding any issues relating to the local community and the effects of the recent fire, please note that the Community Liaison Contact for The Glasgow School of Art is Alan Horn

Update 24/07/18

Statement from The Glasgow School of Art on further progress made on Mackintosh Building dismantling

Over the last week work to dismantle the dangerous parts of the Mackintosh Building has been progressing to plan.

The GSA’s contractor, Reigart, was on site from 7.30am – 7.30pm Monday to Thursday and 7.30am – 5pm on Friday – Sunday using a crane and mobile elevated working platform sited on Renfrew Street, and a further crane sited at the corner of Dalhousie Street and Sauchiehall Street.

The focus of the work continued to be on the south elevation, above Sauchiehall Street, and the east gable, on Dalhousie street, with work also undertaken on the centre of the north façade above the Director’s office.

Top sections to the east and south walls of the south east block have now been significantly reduced in height, and the south section of the east gable has been taken down to match the level of the south wall. Steel roof beams and RHS beams on the north east corner were safely removed and lifted to ground

Most of the material removed during this week was too badly damaged to retain and was therefore moved safely into the building. A limited amount of material which was in a good enough condition for retention was brought off the building for recording and will be removed off site for storage.

Concurrent to the downtaking work the design of schemes for stabilization of the east gable and north façade have been progressed. These include a shoring scaffolding and internal bracing the designs for which have been and shared with Glasgow City Council Building Standards. Subject to approvals this phase of the work will commence at the beginning of August as planned.

Work this week (23-29 July) includes further reductions to the height of the south façade, removal of debris from the second floor level, and downtaking of existing scaffolding around the north east corner of the building. Dismantling of the south west corner block, above Sauchiehall Street, should also begin later this week, but this is dependent on works being undertaken to make the O2/ABC building safe.

“The fire in the Mackintosh Building has had a devastating effect on the Garnethill community and especially the people whose homes and businesses are within the security cordon,” says Professor Tom Inns, Director of The Glasgow School of Art.
"We want to assure people that our first priority is dismantling the dangerous elements of the building in the safest way both for the workers and for surrounding properties. Our focus has been on the parts of the building which most directly affect our neighbours – the east gable and south façade – to ensure people can return to their homes and businesses as soon as possible.”

“Over the last two weeks the work has been going to plan, and we are still on schedule to complete the stabilisation of the building within the 8-week timetable.”

“Throughout the programme of works our expert structural engineers are keeping in contact with Glasgow Council Building Standards updating them on the work so that they can assess when it might be possible to reduce the size of the security cordon,” he adds.


Update 18/07/18

Statement from The Glasgow School of Art on the progress of the dismantling work

Work to dismantle the dangerous parts of the Mackintosh Building has been going to schedule it was confirmed today, 18 July 2018.  Three cranes have been on site working from 7.30am – 7.30pm Monday - Thursday and 7.30am – 5pm Friday – Sunday.

Work began on the central section of the south façade, above Sauchiehall Street, on Tuesday afternoon (11 July) and this section has now been lowered to the bottom of the parapet.

Over the weekend of 14-15 July the south-east staircase, which was one of the most fragile areas of the building, was taken down safely. The dismantling of this section is almost to first floor level. Work on the east end of the south façade is expected to continue for at least another two weeks.

Simultaneously work has begun to lower the east gable. All of the coping stones on the top of the gable had suffered severe fracturing caused by the metal cramps which hold them expanding in the intensity of the fire. One sample has been retained with the remainder moved quickly and safely into the interior of the building. The central turret and top of the gable have been removed and the down-taking of the main section of the gable is now underway.

On the north-east façade the steel beams of the roof structure have been removed and reduction to the wall to the south of this area is now under way.

In the centre of the north facade the turret and set back section directly above the main entrance have been removed, and the tops of the two return walls have been lowered to second floor level. Reduction of the walls immediately to the south of this area is now proceeding.

Throughout the process the GSA contractor, Reigart, and expert structural engineers, David Narro Associates, have been assessing the condition of the masonry and then removing it in the safest way for both the workers and surrounding properties. Where stonework has been assessed as significantly damaged and too dangerous to lift off the building it has been pushed into the interior.

“The GSA’s priority is to make the Mackintosh Building safe and stable so that the community can return to their homes and businesses at the earliest possible moment,” says Professor Tom Inns, Director of The Glasgow School of Art. “Our contractors are working hard to achieve this and are currently on schedule.”


Update 10/07/18
Work Begins to Dismantle Dangerous Sections of the Mackintosh Building

Work has begun today to dismantle dangerous sections of the Mackintosh Building. The work will be done to a methodology developed by expert structural engineers, Glasgow-based David Narro Associates, and GSA contractor, Coatbridge-based Reigart. The methodology has been shared with Glasgow City Council Building Standards, who have worked with the GSA throughout the development, and with Historic Environment Scotland.

“The primary aim of the initial works is to make the building safe and structurally stable,” says Dominic Echlin of David Narro Associates. “It is important to understand that our agreed approach is the safest way to dismantle the dangerous elements of the building and, importantly, ensure there is no damage to nearby properties or risk to those working on site.”

“The Contractor is starting today to reduce the height of the high level walls on the south side of the building, carefully taking down damaged and unstable masonry. With the machinery brought to site the Contractor can work on several ‘fronts’, so after a start today in the middle of the south façade, we will quickly move on to reducing height to the top parts of the south-east corner and east façade. Work will then follow on the west end and then parts of north façade.” he adds. “This sequence has been determined so we keep the building as stable as possible and the dismantling controlled throughout the process.”

The work will be undertaken using manual dismantling of the masonry, which will be accessed by a combination of Mobile Elevated Working Platforms (MEWP) and crane hoists. It will be carried out as a controlled dismantling by Reigart. The main crane, which was brought up to Glasgow from Sheffield, is positioned in Sauchiehall Street at the junction with Dalhousie Street and it is hoped to position a second crane at the junction of Sauchiehall Street and Scott Street. Three further cranes will be used for the work. These will be positioned on Renfrew Street, one at the junction with Dalhousie Street and the other two opposite the Reid Building.

Masonry and brickwork will need to be dismantled in a controlled manner, brick by brick, block by block, with heavier high level stonework removed and transferred via hoists which will then be lowered down to street level for sorting and storage off site. Where possible and safer to do so, plainer areas of facades will be lowered into the site for later removal.  This permits the work to proceed swiftly and with minimum danger to surrounding properties. Protection will be provided to adjoining properties as necessary during the down taking elements of the work.

The work is expected to take several weeks, but as the various phases are completed, Glasgow City Council Building Standards will assess whether it is possible to reduce the size of the exclusion cordon.


Statement from The Glasgow School of Art, 2 July 2018

The Glasgow School of Art’s expert structural engineers, David Narro Associates, and contractor, Reigart, have prepared the methodology for the work which needs to be undertaken on the Mackintosh Building. This has been shared with Glasgow City Council Building Control and Historic Environment Scotland.

Over the weekend work to assess the condition of the Mackintosh Building continued with further drone footage collected. Meanwhile, preparation work for the managed dismantling of the elements of the building that have been deemed dangerous got underway, on schedule, today. The main crane has been relocated to the corner of Sauchiehall Street and Dalhousie Street, and a second crane is expected to join it tomorrow. The work to begin dismantling the south façade will start as soon as possible following approval of the methodology by Glasgow City Council Building Control. The cordon for the whole site, which includes the O2 ABC and Jumping Jacks, remains under the control of Glasgow City Council.


Statement from The Glasgow School of Art on the Mackintosh Building

Yesterday The Glasgow School of Art, working with its team of structural experts, had an opportunity to continue its assessment of the structural integrity of the Mackintosh Building. The GSA’s new specialist site contractor, Reigart, has now brought large mobile cranes on site to allow detailed close-up visual assessment of damage to the building. All of this information is being shared with the Glasgow City Council Building Control team to establish an effective stabilisation strategy that ensures public safety.

The detailed visual assessment shows that damage to the Mackintosh Building is significantly greater than had initially been anticipated from ground visual assessment and the data from the drone and scanning footage which were undertaken last week.

The Glasgow School of Art’s site contractor Reigart, together with its structural engineers, David Narro Associates, are using all this information to develop a plan of works to achieve structural stability of the building. This will be agreed with Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and Glasgow City Council (GCC) Building Control. All parties are working in close collaboration to allow plans to be developed and agreed as quickly as possible.

The areas of significant concern are the east elevation, the west elevation and sections of the south elevation. The plan of works will involve Reigart undertaking extensive down takings and potential structural bracing. Due to the condition of the Mackintosh Building this work will be undertaken in a highly controlled way to minimise any potential risk of failure and be sufficient to achieve structural stability of the Mackintosh Building. 

The aim of the GSA and GCC will be to return normal access for residents and businesses as soon as possible.

When the plan of works has been agreed with HES and GCC Building Control it will be made public.


Dear all

The Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh Building Fire

I do realise that while some of you have had some limited contact with us since the events of last Friday, I haven’t managed to speak to you all.  My apologies for this in what has been an incredibly busy week.

The School recognises the impact the fire has had on our immediate neighbours and that this impact is quite different and much more immediate than that which we have been dealing with to get the GSA operational again (we have about 450 postgraduate students on campus and a summer programme for adults and children with over 1500 people) without two of our major buildings – the Bourdon and Reid.  They too are sat within the cordon and due to the fire access routes for the McLellan Galleries block, this building is also out of use by the GSA.  I appreciate this is of little comfort for the many families who have been displaced. 

I’ve attached the latest version of the cordon that we have been provided with incase you have not yet seen it.   We are working tirelessly with Glasgow City Council, Historic Environment Scotland and our own engineers and professional teams at GSA to assess the Mackintosh and ensure its stabilisation safely and as practically as possible. 

The last thing we want is to impact our neighbours any longer than is necessary but our priority, as is the City Council’s, is to ensure the safety of our community until this can be achieved and we are working with the Council as the lead on this.  Our neighbours across Garnethill, Blythswood and the Broomielaw are important to us.  Many have been friends of the School for many years and indeed personal friends of students and staff.  They are part of what makes the GSA what it is and we know share with us our sadness and heartbreak, have questions about what has happened and want things to return to normal as soon as possible.

We will aim to keep you as up to date as we can but we hope that you will appreciate we are working in quite a dynamic and highly complex situation.  

Information that we have is being posted on our website at Thank you for your support at this time.

Tom Inns