Glasgow & West Scotland

Kier Group to repair fire-hit Glasgow School of Art

Glasgow School of Art Image copyright Glasgow School of Art
Image caption A view of the mackintosh building before it was badly damaged by fire

Kier Construction has been awarded the £25m contract to manage the restoration of Glasgow School of Art's (GSA) fire-damaged Mackintosh building.

The firm will oversee repairs to the Grade A-listed structure, whose upper floors were gutted by fire in 2014.

Phase one, to begin in July, will see the building weatherproofed, damaged stonework repaired and roof replaced.

The phase two main works, to restore the west wing and upgrade the east wing interiors, will begin in Spring 2017.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The upper floors of the Mackintosh building were gutted in the blaze on 23 May 2014

GSA said Kier would work with the design team, led by Page\Park Architects, and co-ordinate the stone, joinery, electrical and decorative aspects of the main reconstruction.

The firm's team will arrive on site during the first week of July with all main contractor work expected to be completed by the end of February 2019.

'Experience and knowledge'

Liz Davidson, senior project manager for the Mackintosh restoration, said that Kier Construction had been awarded the contract after demonstrating it had the experience for the project and offering a "competitive tender price".

"The team they have assembled has a depth of experience and knowledge combined with solid construction methodology and practice.," she said.

"They convinced GSA of their organisational abilities to deliver a highly-successful project, deliver good community benefits for local employment targets and social enterprises and engage with the range of skilled crafts people and sub-contractors which will be essential to move this project from excellent to world class."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A view of repair work to top floor of the west wing of the Mackintosh building

The £25m contract is part of the £32m Mackintosh Campus Appeal - which aims to raise funds for the restoration and fund a planned expansion of the art school's Garnethill campus.

GSA aims to make the restored Mackintosh building the heart of the expanded campus and return it to academic use.

Brian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction Scotland, said it was "a huge honour" to be awarded the contract to restore "such a culturally significant" building.

He said: "We are committed to working closely with the local supply chain, specialist conservators, local artists, students from the GSA and other industry training and employment groups to create valuable training, apprenticeship and employment opportunities throughout this restoration."

The art nouveau Mackintosh building was badly damaged by fire on 23 May 2014.

An investigation by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service concluded the blaze was caused by flammable gases from a canister of expanding foam.

The report said the gases ignited as they came into contact with the hot surface of a projector.

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