Glasgow, 17 September 2010 - The plans for Phase 1 of The Glasgow School of Art re-development were released today. Designed by Steven Holl Architects in partnership with JM Architects (Glasgow) and Arup Engineering, the new building will replace the Foulis Building and Newbery Tower on Renfrew Street opposite the Mackintosh building and significantly refurbish the Assembly Building which houses the Students’ Union.
Steven Holl Architects was appointed last September following an international competition to design a new building for the Art School which would enhance significantly the teaching, learning and research facilities available to GSA students and staff as well as providing access to new publicly accessible spaces including exhibition galleries and the Windows on the Mack interpretation area for the Mackintosh Building. Inspired by Mackintosh’s inventive manipulation of his 1909 Art School building’s plan
and section to introduce and deploy light in a tremendous variety of inspiring and successful ways, the new design complements its neighbour, but moves forward using a new language of light. With well proportioned studio and workshop spaces at the core of teaching and making art, these spaces are arranged in plan and section with natural side and top light for inspiring work environments, supplemented with ‘driven voids of light’ that penetrate the building’s core and deliver natural light through its depth; providing direct connectivity with the outside world through the changing intensity and color of the sky.
The design provides much needed studios and centralized workshop facilities, the Center for Advanced Textiles, new digital media spaces, a lecture theatre and seminar rooms, exhibition space, a refectory for staff and students and a range of informal learning areas. The interpretation centre for the Mackintosh Building, phase 4 of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project is also on the site.
“Our collaboration with Steven Holl Architects and theirs with JM Architects has produced a design that I am confident will deliver a world-class building for The School and for Glasgow,” says Professor Seona Reid, Director of The Glasgow School of Art. “An intensive design development process has produced a building which not only provides all the specific functionality that we need for our educational and research purpose but also creates an environment which will inspire all who study, work and visit there. . The inventive use of light, material and section make it a worthy companion to Mackintosh, a striking building of which we will all be immensely proud.” Steven Holl said, "The site opposite the Mackintosh Building calls for a unique, inspiring and stimulating twenty-first century architecture with a great sensitivity to light, detail, and material. The new Glasgow School of Art Building will provide contemplative space for individual creativity and thought, and spaces of collective interaction for students, staff and the Garnethill community."
The design began with the Studio space - the core of teaching and making art. Wellproportioned studio and workshop volumes are arranged in plan and section with ideal top and side light. They are adaptable with potential for individual studios to open into larger groups, and arranged with functionally adjacent support spaces in rhythm with the studio/workshop volumes. They are illuminated with north light, with shafts of warm south, east or west light. Studios are generally positioned on the north façade provided with large inclined north facing glazing to maximize access to the desirable high quality diffuse north light throughout the academic year. Spaces that do not have a requirement for the same quality of natural light, are located on the South façade (opposite the Mackintosh building) where access to sunlight can be balanced with the occupants; needs and the...