THE architects given the task of restoring the Mackintosh Building at the Glasgow School of Art has said its world famous library can be rebuilt but with modern touches.


Page\Park, based in Glasgow, have been named as the design team who will lead the restoration of the world famous building, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The library was gutted by the fire in May last year.

David Page, head of architecture at the firm, said the final look of the library was yet to be decided, and would only be constructed after discussions with the school.

Last week Professor Tom Inns, director of the school, appeared to end a public debate about what should be done with the library, saying it would be reconstructed.

Page\Park have what Glasgow School of Art describe as an "extensive track record in both restoring and reinvigorating major historic buildings".

They also have experience of working with the legacy of Mackintosh - the practice has worked at his Hillhouse in Helensburgh.

Mr Page said he was delighted the practice had won the commission and said "you begin a practice so you can get to this stage".

However, he did not commit to completely restoring the library as an identical replica to the original.

He said the library had been constructed in an extraordinary way, "nailed together like a garden fence", and now the practice was "looking forward to the dialogue" with the school over how it could be reconstructed.

Mr Page also questioned whether the new library could use the same materials: oak and timber from New Zealand, saying it would be a "challenge".

Work is expected to start on the building in spring 2016 with the "aspiration" that there will be academic access from 2017-8.

Professor Inns said: "The team assembled by Page \ Park Architects impressed us not only with their deep knowledge of the building, but of the wider work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

"They also bring an understanding of the building's particular importance to Glasgow - its people and history - as well as of its status as an international design icon."

"This is the beginning of an exciting journey of discovery.

"There will be many fascinating questions to be addressed as we undertake this complex restoration project."

Page\Park recently completed the new extension to the Theatre Royal in Glasgow.