Dismantling work on Mackintosh building “on schedule”

The Glasgow School of Art in the aftermath of the fire

WORK to dismantle the dangerous parts of the fire-ravaged Mackintosh building has been “going to schedule”, a statement released by the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) has revealed.

Three cranes have been involved in the works, which started on the central section of the south façade, above Sauchiehall Street. This section has now been lowered to the bottom of the parapet.

The south east staircase, which was one of the most fragile areas of the building, has been taken down safely. GSA said dismantling of this section is almost to first floor level, while work on the east end of the south façade is expected to continue for at least another two weeks.

Work is also underway to lower the east gable. All of the coping stones on the top of the gable had suffered “severe fracturing” caused by metal cramps expanding due to the intensity of the fire. One sample has been retained with the remainder moved into the interior of the building. The central turret and top of the gable have also been removed, and the down-taking of the main section of the gable is underway.

On the north east façade, the steel beams of the roof structure have been removed and reduction of the wall to the south of this area has started. In the centre of the north facade, the turret and set back section directly above the main entrance have been removed, and the tops of the two return walls have been lowered to second floor level. Reduction of the walls to the south of this area is now proceeding.

GSA added that throughout the process, contractor Reigart and structural engineers David Narro Associates have been assessing the condition of the masonry and then removing it in the “safest way for both the workers and surrounding properties”. Where stonework has been deemed significantly damaged and too dangerous to lift off the building, it has been pushed into the interior.

Professor Tom Inns, director of the GSA said, “The GSA’s priority is to make the Mackintosh building safe and stable so that the community can return to their homes and businesses at the earliest possible moment. Our contractors are working hard to achieve this and are currently on schedule.”