It has been confirmed that parts of the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building are to be dismantled. A statement by Glasgow City Council, reported by the BBC, revealed that substantial movement in the building’s walls had been detected from surveys following the June 15th fire, indicating the sudden partial collapse of the structure was likely.
Work on the dismantling is to begin “as a matter of urgency” focusing on the south façade, which was the most seriously damaged during the fire; the second blaze to devastate the building in four years.
The difficult decision was taken after remote and close-in surveys indicated a more substantial movement in its walls than previously thought. While the south façade remains the most fragile, concern has also been expressed about the east and west gables, which have continued to move and deteriorate.
Glasgow City Council’s Head of Building Control Raymond Barlow has assessed that “with each passing day, a sudden collapse becomes more likely” as a warning of falling bricks and stonework remains in place on Sauchiehall Street. Barlow also stated that in the process of dismantling the south façade, it is likely that “other walls will also need to be reduced.”
There is now a requirement to at least partially dismantle sections of the building as 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 west gable of the Mackintosh building has continued to deteriorate and the east gable has continued to move outwards. It is not possible at this time to say exactly when the work will begin, but it will be as soon as possible.
-Glasgow City Council statement
A fire investigation is currently underway to establish the cause of the fire. You can read an overview of the fire, and views on the future of the Mackintosh, from our recent summary of the incident.
News via: BBC
Ten days after fire engulfed Charles Rennie Mackintosh's iconic Mackintosh Building at the Glasgow School of Art for the second time in four years, there is still much to learn about how the fire started, how it could have been prevented, and what should now happen to the ruined masterpiece.