Barry Wark Proposes Ornate Addition to Mackintosh’s Devastated School of Art

Rather than starting from scratch, Barry Wark seeks to preserve and grow Glasgow’s iconic institution.

Nathan Bahadursingh Nathan Bahadursingh

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Architect and designer, Barry Wark, has shared a proposal for the Glasgow School of Art’s restoration and extension following a series of fires that damaged the famed Mackintosh Building in 2014 and 2018. Inspired by Scottish castles and biophilic design, Barry Wark has a unique vision for the school’s redevelopment.

Originally designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the eponymous Mackintosh Building has served as one of Glasgow’s most iconic landmarks since it was built between 1897 and 1909. Addressing the building’s near destruction, Wark’s project for the Glasgow School of Art proposes the creation of new educational studios, public spaces and gardens, as part of a block-wide development.

With the pre-existing façade still intact, key interiors and circulation paths will be restored, which would replicate tour routes that existed before the 2014 fire. The studio spaces will be moved into the extension, creating a void that will host events, gatherings and exhibitions.

In addition to studio spaces, the extension will be composed of zones reserved exclusively for plant colonization, aiming to inject the natural environment into Glasgow. This section’s façade will take on a very organic form, characterized by folded geometry with multiple seams on every element. The purpose of this intricacy is to encourage the generation of vegetation from seeds spread there by the wind.

Just as the proposal is defined heavily on innovative biophilic design, it takes heavy influence from Glasgow’s megalithic architecture along with making further references to the original building. Rather than a complete restoration of the damaged Mackintosh Building, Barry Wark’s proposal preserves and adds more functionality to both the Glasgow School of Art and the city as a whole through new public spaces, greenery and a revamped learning environment.

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All images via Barry Wark

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