After two years of planning, preservation and debris removal, restoration on the Mackintosh is set to begin. ... After holding expert forums and an open hunt for architects, the school announced that it would restore the building to something close to its original appearance.
Page\Park Architects, appointed in spring 2015 to oversee the restoration, pored through archival photographs and documents, working with school staff members. “There is a combination of trying to be true to the original design intent that Mackintosh had,” said Sarah MacKinnon, a project manager, “and also of making the building functional and making it work.”
The building will look much as it did in 1910, about a year after its completion, she said. But some modern amenities, like underfloor heating in the library, are also planned, with a new fire safety system that includes a misting infrastructure.
Partly because of the heavy smoking habits of students and faculty, the library’s tulip wood interior has darkened with grit over time. In restoring the building to its 1910 colors, Ms. MacKinnon, said, it might look surprisingly bright to recent visitors.
Perhaps the most visible change will be the removal of partitions built through the years in the student studio spaces. Those will be removed to create an open-plan work space that more closely reflects the building’s original setup.
The school’s insurance application, settled late last year, was largely successful, but the campus has begun a fund-raising appeal with a goal of 32 million pounds (about $41.4 million) to help restore the building and acquire the nearby Stow College site. So far, £17 million, about $22 million, has been secured through private and public aid.