- Dec 1981-Nov 1984 (Creation)
Level of description
Content and Structure
Scope and content
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Name of creator
In 1897, Charles Rennie Mackintosh's scheme won the competition for the design of the new Art School in Glasgow. Constructed in 2 phases and completed in 1909, Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art is commonly regarded as a seminal building.
By the 1960s and 1970s GSA had grown and a number of concrete blocks had been sited somewhat unhappily around the original building. These buildings bear little relationship in terms of urban design or detail to Mackintosh's masterpiece.
On a practical level, whilst teaching facilities were generally good, staff and student social areas had been somewhat neglected in the campus expansions since WWII. To redress the balance, GSA's Director, Prof. Anthony Jones, commissioned GKC to design an extension to house new lounge and dining areas for both staff and students as well as an exhibition foyer. The site for the building immediately opposite the entrance to the Mackintosh Art School was on a raised deck between two existing campus buildings and backed by the 8 storey Newbery Tower which housed most of the industrial arts.
GKC's approach was to treat the extension as a pavilion, consciously light and airy in the fashion of gazebo, and address its aesthetic attentions across the street to the Mackintosh facade. Unlike most of the '60s campus buildings there is a dialogue in terms of architectural reference and scale between old and new and across 80 years of design theory.
In detailed respects, the building re-uses architectural motifs developed at Robinson College, Cambridge, particularly the inverted stepped windows. Inside the staff lounge, though the references are more to Mackintosh (particularly the tea room interiors designed for Miss Cranston) and the barrel vault which penetrates the interior on the line of the facade arch, owes its inspiration to the principal bedroom at Hill House in Helensburgh. The use of these historical references both direct and allegorical, made the building particularly rich in terms of design ideas for the students of the Art School.
At this time Andy MacMillan wore two hats; that of GSA lecturer and GKC partner.
Physical Description and Conditions of Use
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Place access points
People and Organisations
- The Glasgow School of Art (Subject)