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Glasgow School of Art Building to be Dismantled

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

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The Glasgow City Council recently announced that parts of the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building are to be dismantled in light of the fire that damaged the structure in mid-June.

The council added that surveys revealed movement in the walls, with the collapse of some parts likely.

Building Fire

The blaze broke out in the 110-year-old Mackintosh building after 11 p.m. on June 15, with 120 firefighters and 20 engines on the scene. By the time crews arrived, flames had spread to the neighboring Campus nightclub and the O2 ABC music venue (one of the region’s most popular concert spots). No one was injured in the blaze.

The building, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and considered to be an art nouveau grade A-listed masterpiece, also caught fire in 2014 when a projector overheated and ignited flammable gases from a foam canister that was being used for an art project, destroying about a third of the building, including its library.

The building was still undergoing a 35-million-pound renovation from that incident, led by Kier Group, and was set to reopen next spring. Officials said there were no operational sprinklers at the site, something that many, including the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association, were calling into question.

In late June, less than two weeks after the fire, BAFSA revealed that large pumps for the fire suppression system had arrived the day before the blaze.

Dismantling Mackintosh

According to the BBC, dismantling sections of the building has become a matter of urgency.

"However, the dangerous nature of the site—which includes the Mackintosh building and the O2 ABC—is such that it will take around two days to devise a methodology for taking down the south facade, which is the most seriously affected part of the building,” the council said.

"The west gable of the Mackintosh building has continued to deteriorate and the east gable has continued to move outwards.”

A warning was also issued regarding falling brick and or stonework on nearby Sauchiehall Street. Raymond Barlow, the authority's head of building control, added that a sudden collapse becomes more likely with every day that passes.

Taking down the south facade has become the priority, with the likelihood that other walls will need to be reduced as well. Residents and businesses affected by the fire will receive compensation.

A timeline for beginning the work has not yet been determined.


Tagged categories: Accidents; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Fire; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; Safety

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