When Does A Restoration Become A Replica?

Following the unfortunate series of events that saw the Glasgow School of Art's (GSA) iconic Mackintosh Library devastated in a fire in May of last year, a leading Scottish architect has stated that he is "seriously against the idea of remaking the library" as a replica of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's original acclaimed design. Talking to the Scottish Herald, Professor Alan Dunlop has stated that "there is actually no way you can replace it as it was [as] there was 100 years of age and patina that you would have to replicate." Furthermore, he believes that it would not be something that "Mackintosh would do," citing the expansion of "his work in the years between each part of the Mackintosh Building being built [in 1899 and 1909]" as justification. It is his feeling that "the former library had essentially become a museum [and] not a viable working room for students and staff."

According to the Architects' Journal, Julian Harrap has said that "he feared ‘insurers and loss adjusters’ were driving an unnecessarily hasty effort to build a replica of the library" while "John McAslan – who restored Mackintosh’s last major commission, at 78 Derngate in Northampton – [has] called for the library to be rebuilt as authentically as possible, to recreate the feel of the building as it was the moment before the fire."

The GSA have already begun their search for a restoration architect with a shortlist expected to be announced in the coming months.

References: Scottish Herald, Architects' Journal

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Cite: James Taylor-Foster. "When Does A Restoration Become A Replica?" 06 Jan 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/584351/when-does-a-restoration-become-a-replica> ISSN 0719-8884

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