The Mackintosh Building belongs to The Glasgow School of Art. It was built in Garnethill at the end of the 19th Century thanks to the ambition and vision of the Governors and Staff to create a building in Glasgow fit to house a world-class Art School. It became, and should again be, a central feature of the academic, civic, and cultural life of the School. The Board of Governors has a responsibility to manage the building for the academic benefit of the School and its students. In the life of the School and the Mackintosh Building, the challenge of responding to the 2018 fire should not overshadow the ongoing relationship between the building and its principal objective – the provision in Glasgow of a unique educational facility to support a world-class creative education. It is, in part, this continuation of the Mackintosh Building’s original purpose which makes it so special, given how few of Mackintosh’s creations retain their original use.
The Mackintosh Building is not a museum, albeit it is clearly a work of art. The GSA Governors are convinced of the crucial importance of maintaining the Mackintosh Building as part of the estate of Scotland’s only remaining independent Art School. They recognise their role as custodians of the building and reiterate their commitment to deliver the reconstruction of the building for the benefit of all stakeholders. They also recognise that this can best be achieved with appropriate input and guidance from stakeholders throughout the process, which led, amongst other things, to the creation of the Mackintosh Steering Group which comprises external stakeholders and expert advisors alongside the GSA Governors.
In developing this Strategic Outline Business Case, The Glasgow School of Art has begun to demonstrate how it will engage meaningfully with partners in the local Garnethill and Sauchiehall Street community, stakeholders across Glasgow, and the wider Mackintosh and architectural heritage community, to ensure that we can collectively deliver an exemplar project that will enable future generations of students, Glaswegians and visitors to enjoy and celebrate this amazing building.