Prospects look promising right now for the Glasgow School of Art as their plan to restore the historic Mackintosh Building from a devastating fire last May pieces itself together. After months of debate about whether to restore or replace the Mackintosh, locally based Page\Park Architects won the competition to work with the school in restoring the structure this past March.
Most recently, the GSA received a gift of 22 architectural drawings of the Mackintosh Building, meticulously drawn and donated by Professor George Cairns from the QUT Business School in Brisbane. They're considered to be the most comprehensive drawings of the building in existence.
George Cairns' drawing of the East Wing Staircase.
Perhaps this was a stroke of luck for the school. Cairns first created the drawings while working toward his Ph.D. at GSA's Mackintosh School of Architecture during the early 1990s. The A1-size drawings, which are mostly drawn at a 1:100 scale, depict the Mackintosh as it was completed in 1909 — as accurately as could be determined from available records. Cairns presented the plans last Tuesday to the GSA during the Leverhulme International Network of Contemporary Studies symposium in Glasgow.
The West Wing (includes the lecture theatre, library, and top-floor studio).
Cairns' drawings will be used by the Mackintosh Building restoration team, who largely describe his detailed sketches as a vital resource. 'We are keen to continue to access as much information as possible about the building in planning our approach to the restoration,' stated Liz Davidson, Senior Project Manager for the Mackintosh Building Restoration project. 'Professor Cairns has already been generous in his time in liaising with the design team and these particularly detailed drawings are going to be an invaluable source of information.'
In the coming months, the drawings will be digitized and added to the GSA Archives and Collections for students, faculty, and the general public to access online. If all goes smoothly, the Mackintosh Building is expected to reopen by the 2017-18 school year.
Previously on Archinect: