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Glasgow, 167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow School Of Art

College (19th Century)

Site Name Glasgow, 167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow School Of Art

Classification College (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Garnethill; Mackintosh Building; The Mack

Canmore ID 120095

Site Number NS56NE 210

NGR NS 58435 65970

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Glasgow, City Of
  • Parish Glasgow (City Of Glasgow)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District City Of Glasgow
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Treasured Places (29 June 2007)

In 1897 Charles Rennie Mackintosh won the commission to design the Glasgow School of Art, whilst working for the architectural firm of Honeyman and Keppie. In 1899 the first phase opened (from Dalhousie Street to the entrance block), and construction of the second phase took place in 1907-9.

The School is recognised as one of Mackintosh's masterpieces. The exterior references a Scottish tower-house at the east gable, while a panel above the entrance is in Art Nouveau style. Inside the building, the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement are discernable, particularly in the details of timber and metalwork throughout the School.

Information from RCAHMS (SC) 26 June 2007

McKean, C, Walker, D and Walker, F 1989

Williamson, E, Riches, A and Higgs, M 1990

Architecture Notes

Architect: Charles Rennie Mackintosh 1907-1909


Commission And Contract (1897)

In 1897 Charles Rennie Mackintosh won the commission to design the Glasgow School of Art, whilst working for the architectural firm of Honeyman and Keppie.

Construction (1 January 1907 - 31 December 1909)

The first phase of construction.

Construction (1 January 1907 - 31 December 1909)

Second phase of construction.

Photographic Record (1 January 1909 - 31 December 1910)

Photographic Record (1960)

Photographs by Eric de Maré.

Photographic Survey (11 November 2003 - 19 November 2003)

Photographic Survey (6 July 2004 - 8 July 2004)

Photographic Survey (5 November 2010 - 8 June 2011)

A series of survey visits were made to Glasgow School of Art in 2010 and 2011. These were primarily to record the Newbery Tower and Foulis Building prior to their demolition, but records were also made of the recently altered exhibition, archive and shop areas in the basement of the Mackintosh Building and the Student Union building.

The first phase of this survey work, in November 2010 and May 2011, recorded the buildings in use as studios, whilst the second phase, in June 2011, show the buildings in use during the school's degree show.

Standing Building Recording (17 November 2014 - 6 February 2015)

NS 5843 6597 Following a major fire which affected much of the western half of the Glasgow School of Art, a programme of archaeological excavation, salvage and standing building recording was undertaken in the Mackintosh Library, the worst affected area. The work was carried out from 17 November 2014 to 6 February 2015. On-site specialist treatment of the artefactual assemblage was provided by AOC Archaeology Group.

The Mackintosh Library was built between 1907 and 1909, and is located at first floor level, at the western end of the corridor leading from the museum, at the top of the main access stair. As well as notable items of furniture, important books and periodicals, the library featured elaborate structural timberwork and associated fittings.

The floor was covered by a large debris pile, roughly 10 x 10m in plan, of loose and fused material up to 2.0m deep, containing burnt and/or water-damaged books, periodicals, furniture, structural timberwork, metal fittings, and other structural debris – primarily stonework, plasterboard and plaster. Further fire-damaged material remained in situ, including a number of timber posts, most of the floorboards, cabinet bases, some steps, patches of plasterwork, and elements of the services (notably electrical wiring and heating duct apertures). The ceiling was significantly damaged and partially collapsed. Doors and windows were extensively damaged and much of the fabric of all the walls, variously of brick and sandstone, was exposed. Some of the plaster and wood panelling, though damaged, remained in situ.

Approximately 80% of the floor area was excavated by hand, the remaining 20% was inaccessible due to collapsed flooring and proximity to insecure masonry overhead. Material was photographed in situ, and its spatial location recorded prior to retrieval and further recording. Of the general debris assemblage, individual items of significance were retained for post-excavation specialist attention. This included items of furniture, structural timberwork, books and structural fittings. Sampled structural material, notably timberwork, was also retained for further analysis.

A baseline drawn record of the four elevations and the floor was completed, identifying and locating all surviving key structural features. Evidence of various changes to services within the library was exposed, from the intramural heating ducts to successive hot water and electrical supply systems. Alterations to the broader fabric of the library were also identified, defining the changes that this remarkable room has been subject to since its initial design and construction.

Archive: National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) and Glasgow School of Art (intended)

Funder: The Glasgow School of Art

Gordon Ewart - Kirkdale Archaeology

(Source: DES, Volume 16)


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