Video: Inside Steven Holl’s Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art

Steven Holl Architects, in collaboration with Spirit of Space, have created two short films of the recently completed Seona Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art. The film series explores the complementary contrast of the new Reid Building and Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 1909 building (which recently suffered a devastating fire), where “each work of architecture heightens the integral qualities of the other.”

The first film takes the viewers on a “poetic climb” up and through the building’s social circuit, which “purposefully encourages inter-disciplinary activity, with the hope to inspire positive energy for the future of art.” The second film unpacks the design of the Reid Building in a conversation with design architects Steven Holl and Chris McVoy.

Photographic Archive Crowdsources Your Memories of The Mac

The Library in 1976. Image © Gordon Hawes Via The Mac Photographic Archive

The interior of Charles Rennie Mackintosh‘s Glasgow School of Art is, thankfully, being restored after being tragically damaged by fire last month. However, despite Scottish Fire and Rescue managing to save around 70% of the building’s precious contents, many will likely struggle to get over the feeling that something is missing without the natural patina of 100 years of use.

In response to this feeling, GSA Alumnus Lizzie Malcolm and Daniel Powers have created The Mac Photographic Archive, a website that allows anyone to upload photographs of the building and tag them with the room they depict and the date they were taken – compiling the ultimate collection of memories of the building’s proud history. Click here to look through the archive, and contribute your own images to the collection.

Steven Holl Reflects on the Majesty of the Mackintosh

Following the devastating news that the Mackintosh School of Art’s iconic library was recently destroyed, Steven Holl - designer of the adjacent Seona Reid Building that opened earlier this year – reflects on the “magic” of what has been lost in an article for the Architectural Record. The Charles Rennie Mackintosh building, for Holl, “embodies a refreshingly direct conviction”, the sudden loss of which brought on a “deep sadness.” Placing it within a canon of architectural masterpieces, Holl gives insight to his emotional connections with this Glaswegian masterpiece: “the Glasgow School of Art has an inner worth and a dignity beyond all measurable value.” Read the article in full here.

10 Fires That Changed Architecture Forever

After being destroyed by fire and laying in ruins for 60 years, the Reichstag became a symbol of the new democracy in the 1990s with Norman Foster’s renovation. Image © Flickr CC User Werner Kunz

With no casualties, last week’s fire at the Glasgow School of Art, which caused significant damage to parts of the building and gutted Charles Rennie Mackintosh‘s canonical library room, will be remembered as a tragic event that robbed us of one of the best examples of Art Nouveau of its time. The intention of the Glasgow School of Art is to restore the building in the hope that in generations to come, the fire will be all but forgotten, a strategy which has been largely well received by the profession.

However, in the case of other fires things have not gone so smoothly: for millennia, fire has played a big role in determining the course of architectural history - by destroying precious artifacts, but often also by allowing something new to rise from the ashes. Read on after the break as we count down the top 10 fires that changed the course of architectural .

Glasgow School of Art Begins to Pick Up the Pieces

The wreckage of the Glasgow School of Art Library. Image © Scottish and Rescue via BBC

After the tragic fire that tore through Charles Rennie Mackintosh‘s Glasgow School of Art last week, thoughts have now turned to the future of the building and the process of restoration. It seems that many people in the profession are in favour of a faithful restoration: John McAslan, who has previously worked on restoring one of Mackintosh’s buildings in Northampton, saying that “it is not the time and place to interpret Mackintosh”, and former GSA student and ex-director of FAT Sam Jacob commenting that the building “hadn’t been turned into a museum piece” and therefore “a faithful restoration is exactly the right thing to do.”

Though there has been one dissenting voice from George Cairns, a professor at Melbourne‘s RMIT who completed his PhD thesis on the building in 1992 and believes that a faithful restoration is impossible. In any case, this is what the Glasgow School of Art has resolved to do, and they have received a number of offers of help. Read on after the break to find out what’s being done, and what you can do to help, after the break.

Fire Breaks Out at Glasgow School of Art

UPDATE: The School of Art Media Centre reports ”With the incident under control indications are the firefighters’ efforts have ensured more than 90 per cent of the structure is viable and protected up to 70 per cent of the contents – including many students’ work.”

A serious fire has broken out at the Glasgow School of Art, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 1909 masterpiece. The extent of the damage is unclear at the moment, but BBC News is reporting that the fire is believed to have started in the basement, and has spread to the upper floors, where it is breaking windows and smoke is billowing from the building. Images, reactions and updates from twitter after the break.

Foster + Partners’ SSE Hydro Arena Features Translucent Skin, Innovative Seating System

Courtesy of Figueras

Glasgow has just unveiled its new multipurpose structure which will end up revitalizing the Clyde Waterfront, which went into decline and neglect for many years following the closure of the town’s major shipyards. After 8 years of construction, Foster + Partners’ SSE Hydro now reveals its ETFE facade which is lit up every evening. During the day it manages to blend in with the usual changing Glasgow skyline.

The structure of the SSE Hydro is covered by a 1.400 ton steel housing – one of the largest domes in Europe – and the ETFE translucent building enclosure allows one to discern what is happening inside from the outside. A 260 ton ring which supports the is suspended from the dome, which will allow spectacular and customized for each show.

The modern technology applied to this project contrasts with its interior structure that has been based on the Roman amphitheater, allowing each and every spectator at an event — which can be up to 13.000 — to have an optimal view of the stage. The viewing angle and comfort of the user is furthermore guaranteed by the special seating system designed by Foster + Partners along with Figueras International Seating.

Glasgow Scraps Plan for Europe’s Largest Demolition

© Amanda Vincent-Rous

UPDATE: The Guardian reports that the plans to demolish the Red Road Flats during the have been scrapped due to concerns over public safety. The following news was originally published as “Glasgow to Demolish Iconic Modern Towers in Europe’s Largest Demolition” on April 10th, 2014.

To mark the arrival of the Commonwealth Games in July, Glasgow is planning a twist on the usual opening ceremony: the customary fireworks are going to be replaced with explosives of an altogether different kind, as the demolition of all but one of the remaining Red Road Flats buildings will be broadcast live into the stadium.

The demolition of the five 30-story buildings will take 15 seconds and will be the largest ever attempted in Europe, according to the organizers. According to Games Organizer Eileen Gallagher, including the demolition as part of the opening ceremony shows that Glasgow is “a city that is proud of its but doesn’t stand still, a city that is constantly regenerating, renewing and re-inventing itself.”

International Symposium for Social and Humanitarian Architecture

Next Month, the Mackintosh School of Architecture (The School of Art) will host its first International Symposium for Social and Humanitarian Architecture, ‘Clean Conscience Dirty Hands’, in the new Reid Building by Steven Holl Architects. The symposium focuses on the limited resources intrinsic to the provision of social and humanitarian architecture and the impact of such scarcity on the ability of organisations to ‘harness’ the learning from each built project through documentation, discussion and dissemination. As such, it seeks to provide both a locus and a forum for like-minded organisations engaged in social and humanitarian building projects, in order to capture and disseminate good practice in both a -based and overseas context.

International and award-winning speakers representing a multitude of organisations, including MASS Design Group, TYIN Tegnestue, Architecture for Humanity, London Metropolitan University, Peter Rich Architects and Orkidstudio will gather to discuss a range of ideas relating to one of the three topics broadly covered by the symposium:

Seona Reid Building / Steven Holl Architects

© Iwan Baan

Architects: Steven Holl Architects
Location: The Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, Glasgow City G3 6RQ
Partners In Charge: Chris McVoy, Noah Yaffe
Project Architect: Dominik Sigg
Area: 11250.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Iwan Baan, Chris McVoy

Laboratorio Espresso / DO-Architecture

© John Wood Photowork

Architects: DO-Architecture
Location: 93 West Nile Street, Glasgow,
Area: 30 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: John Wood Photowork

Dalmarnock Station / ATKINS

© Andrew Lee

Architects: ATKINS
Location: Dalmarnock, , UK
Area: 600 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Andrew Lee

Zaha Hadid Wins European Museum of the Year Award for Riverside

Riverside Museum / ZHA © McAteer Photograph/Alan McAteer

Zaha Hadid ArchitectsRiverside Museum in , Scotland, has won the prestigious (EMYA) for it’s ability to “demonstrate brilliantly how a specialist transport collection can renew its relevance through active engagement with the wider social and universal issues.”

Out of 40 museums from across 21 European countries, the jury agreed unanimously that ZHA’s Riverside Museum fulfilled the EMYA criteria of ‘public quality’ at the highest level. 

Speirs Locks Student Campus Proposal / Stallan-Brand

Courtesy of

The proposal for the Speirs Locks Student Campus masterplan by Stallan-Brand seeks to integrate existing structures of merit and to introduce new public spaces around them. The retention of an old glue factory as a gallery and historic walls capture the site’s industrial past. The retention of an existing ornate brick wall, once the ground floor of the City Council Cleansing Department, is used to define a new public space, creating a unique arrival and provide the adjacent studio spaces with an appropriate external display space. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Glasgow Theatre Redesign Winning Proposal / Bennetts Associates

© Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Bennetts Associates, one of the ’s leading architectural practices, was just selected by the Citizens Theatre to work on the plans for a major redevelopment of its iconic Gorbals home. This will be the most comprehensive redevelopment of the building since it opened as a theatre in 1878. The planned capital project will transform the building creating a new vision for improved rehearsal, administration and learning accommodation, as well as improved facilities for the public. More images and architects‘ description after the break.

George Square Controversy

George Square Competition Entry / John McAslan + Partners

There has been some controversy over the past few months for the George Square redesign in , , since we last announced the six shortlisted architecture firms in December.  Following the submission and assessment by a jury in January, the project went through an upheaval when Labour leader of the Glasgow City Council, Gordon Matheson announced that the submitted designs would be scrapped in favor of a “facelift” for the square.  Numerous reports on the Herald Scotland present conflicting arguments for the turn of events and the abrupt change in plans have left the council, jury, design firms and the public in discontent.  It is unclear what the status of the project is today, but for the moment it is on hold as the council discusses ways in which to proceed.

Follow us after the break for more.

George Square Redevelopment: Six Firms Shortlisted

Courtesy of www.theglaswegian.co.uk

Six firms, Agence Ter (France), Burns + Nice (UK), Gustafson Porter (UK), James Corner Field Operations (USA), jmarchitects (UK), and John McAslan & Partners (UK), were recently shortlisted in the project for a major redevelopment of George Square in the heart of , Scotland. The 13 statues and monuments that stand in the square are to be moved to other sites in the city while the area is given a makeover ahead of the 2014 . Planned to submit their plans by the new year, the six designs submitted to Glasgow City Council will be put on public display at the Lighthouse in early January. The design competition winner will then have the prestigious task of redeveloping the square to further enhance Glasgow’s reputation as an international city.

OMA’s Maggie’s Gartnavel wins 2012 Doolin prize

© Nick Turner

The RIAS (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) has announced as the tenth recipient of the prestigious Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award for the firm’s “welcoming, light and spacious” design of Maggie’s Gartnavel in Glasgow.

Serving as an exemplar for alternative healthcare design, OMA’s single story composition for the cancer care center laces together a series of interlocking rectangular spaces that form around a lush courtyard. Transparent walls of the building’s light-filled interior promenade connect patients directly to nature, as the building accommodates for the complex needs of the facility by providing spaces of interaction, personal privacy, and discrete counseling rooms, along with private nooks and corners. A notable characteristic of Maggie’s Gartnavel is the rich use of materials, from the flush inlaid timber and concrete ceiling to the simplistic concrete exterior and expansive floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

OMA generously donated their £25,000 prize to the Maggie’s Cancer Care Center.

More images after the break…