Panel to Talk to Parliament About Mac Fate


Four experts have been invited to speak with the Scottish Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee to give their thoughts on how to move forward with the Glasgow School of Arts Mackintosh building.

The fate of the building, which was ravaged by a fire for the second time in June, is up in the air, along with questions of whether it should still remain in the school’s care.

The Meeting

The Evening Times reports that gallery director Roger Billcliffe, who has published several works on Charles Rennie Mackintosh; Stuart Robertson, of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society; architect Malcolm Fraser; and Eileen Reid, a former employee of the school, have all been invited to share their views, which range from keeping the site as a school to turning it into a museum.

Architects Journal notes, though, that the point of the meeting—slated for Sept. 20—is to explore “how we got to this point, whether lessons were learned from the past and how to move forward.”

“The future of the building should be under consideration and questions over whether it should remain as a school should be asked,” said Billcliffe, who told the Evening Times that the building is a work of art and a museum and “should be treated like one.”

On the flip side, Robertson said in a separate interview that the building “was far more important and creative than a mere reliquary, but was—and must be again—a living, working, inspiring and creative place; and that to deny the artists of a future Scotland this would be extraordinary self-harm.”

However, he said that regardless, the school should not be in charge of its rebuilding as it has proven too great a task. (The building was still undergoing a 35-million-pound renovation from the last fire, which took place in 2014.)

Committee Convener, Joan McAlpine MSP, said that since the school is publicly funded, it’s only right for parliament to hear such testimony.

“While we cannot speculate on the immediate causes of this fire, we expect the panel to discuss how we got to this point, whether lessons were learned from the past and how to go forward in future.

“After the evidence session members will take a view as to whether it is appropriate to call further witnesses.”


Tagged categories: Architecture; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Fire; Government; Maintenance + Renovation; Renovation; Schools

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