An ‘Uneasy Balance’.

Now that the Reid Building has opened, architects, and the public alike, will finally get a chance to look inside the building and see whether or not this space works as an art school. At the recent screening of ‘Facing Up to Mackintosh’ a discussion between Stuart MacDonald and David Reid highlighted the need to examine the interior of the building and its merits alongisde that of the exterior (seek out #artscreen on twitter for some of the comments reflecting the reception of this event and documentary).

Outside The Reid and The Mackintosh Building on opening day.

Outside The Reid and The Mackintosh Building on opening day

Even before its completion The Reid Building had succeeded in sparking a lively discussion around its merits and potential detractors, a discussion that is likely to continue as it settles into its new home.

One of the 'Driven Void' columns inside The Reid Building.

One of the ‘Driven Void’ columns inside The Reid Building.

The GSA’s own Johnny Rodger and Christopher Platt have added to this debate with their published articles in ‘Uneasy Balance’, and ‘Putting Hall and Mackintosh in multi-perspective: the new building at the Glasgow School of Art’ in the Architectural Research Quarterly Journal, by Johnny Rodgers.

'Uneasy Balance' Front Cover

‘Uneasy Balance’ Front Cover

This book contains four essays in total and an interview with Steven holl discussing the design concept and some of his working practices. Included are some specially commissioned photographs as well as sketches and drawings that can only help enhance an understanding of the process behind this buildings creation. This book is available from the GSA Mackintosh Building Shop for £15, and is now available in the GSA library for perusal for anyone wishing to investigate the creative process and intial reception of this space.

Second floor of The Reid Building

Second floor of The Reid Building

Advertisements

Saving a Century photography exhibition

saving a century

The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (Strathclyde Group) and the Victorian Society are holding a photographic exhibition entitled Saving a Century, curated by noted architectural historian Gavin Stamp. The exhibition will be on show at the Mitchell Library, Granville Street, Glasgow, G3 7DN from 1 – 30 October, Monday to Saturday. Free admission.

The exhibition includes:

VICTORIAN BUILDINGS LOST BEFORE 1958 – A photographic survey of some of the best Victorian buildings destroyed in the first half of the twentieth century, among them Crystal Palace (burnt down 30th November 1936), Trentham Hall, Staffordshire (abandoned by the 4th Duke of Sutherland in 1906 and demolished five years later) and Queen’s Park Church, Glasgow (Scotland’s worst architectural loss of the Second World War).

THE FOUNDATION OF THE VICTORIAN SOCIETY – Photographs and material from the opening meetings of the Society. Early members included architect Hugh Casson, architectural historian Christopher Hussey, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner and Sir John Betjeman.

THE EUSTON MURDER AND OTHER CASES – Photographs and text documenting the bitter battle for the Euston Arch, as well some of the Victorian Society’s other early defeats. There were early victories too, among them the Oxford University Museum, proposed for demolition in 1961 to make way for new science buildings. The Victorian Society also succeeded in getting the Broad Street Building of Balliol College listed, after it was threatened with a re-build in 1963.

VICTORY IN WHITEHALL – Photographs charting the heroic, ten-year campaign against plans to demolish much of the historic square mile, including nearly every building south of Downing Street and Richmond Terrace. Sir George Gilbert Scott’s Foreign Office, Richard Norman Shaw’s New Scotland Yard and Middlesex Guildhall in Parliament Square were among the buildings proposed for demolition.

PLACES OF WORSHIP – A photographic survey of some of the historic churches, chapels and synagogues with which the Victorian Society has been involved. As churches are exempt from the secular planning system, it can be particularly difficult to guard them against insensitive change. With falling attendance figures and a growing number of redundant places of worship, the future of our best churches is one of the biggest challenges facing heritage campaigners today.

RAILWAY BUILDINGS – Photographs of some of the key buildings the Victorian Society fought for, as the closure of many branch and other railway lines resulted in the redundancy of numerous stations, bridges and viaducts. That many pioneering and magnificent railway structures, such as St Pancras Station, survive today, often still in use, is very much owing to the efforts of the Society.

IRON, GLASS & STONE – Photographs of some of the most innovative nineteenth century buildings, among them Clevedon Pier, Islington’s Royal Agricultural Hall and Bradford’s Kirkgate Market, for which the Victorian Society has fought.

THE FUNCTIONAL TRADITION – Photographs of some of the most impressive industrial buildings for which the Society has fought. With the decline of the traditional industries of the North of England after the Second World War, many mills and warehouses became redundant while many Northern towns and cities became ashamed of their Victorian industrial legacy and anxious to replace it with something new. The Victorian Society, along with bodies such as SAVE Britain’s Heritage, argued that nineteenth century industrial buildings were evocative and substantial structures which were not only of historical importance but capable of gainful re-use.

THE PURPLE OF COMMERCE – Photographs of some of the most significant Victorian commercial buildings to have come under threat in the last fifty years. Built partly as self-advertisements and partly to inspire confidence, these ambitious and substantial banks, offices and warehouses too often fall victim to redevelopment schemes.

COUNTRY HOUSES – Photographs of some of the grandest country houses to have been the subject of Victorian Society campaigns, among them Shadwell Park, Tyntesfield and Highcliffe Castle. Rendered redundant by social and cultural changes, some of the most famous large houses were demolished between the wars while many more disappeared in the 1950s.

DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE – A collection of photographs of some of the Victorian villas and terraced houses for which the Victorian Society has fought. Often extravagant and fanciful buildings, these buildings are regularly demolished to allow higher density developments in their grounds or make way for flats.

PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS – A photographic survey of some of the best municipal buildings that have been saved or lost. Physical embodiments of the Victorians’ strong sense of civic pride and duty, many of these splendid town halls, libraries, swimming pools, museums, art galleries and post offices still add much to the rich character of British towns and cities today.

BEACONS OF THE FUTURE – A survey of some of the Society’s most recent campaigns, focusing on the battle for Victorian schools and swimming pools. Among the battles highlighted are the protest and funeral for Bonner School, the Public Inquiry for Easington Colliery School and the local campaign for the Moseley Road Baths in Birmingham.

THE VICTORIANS VICTORIOUS – Photographs of some of the most notable Victorian buildings used and valued today.

In conjunction with the exhibition, James Macaulay will present Saving a Century?, a talk at the Mitchell Library on Tuesday 1 October at 6.00. All welcome. Admission £4.00.

Click here for further information: SAC Glasgow poster _2013_JMacaulay_poster_rev G

New RCAHMS digital image library

RCAHMS, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, has recently made thousands of images available in a new online digital image library. Through active surveying and recording programmes, RCAHMS adds new online images to the Canmore database every day. These include interior and exterior views of buildings and archaeological sites, aerial photographs, and digital drawings, all of which may be of interest as inspiration for artists, architects and designers.

RCAHMS also maintains an active digitisation programme of its Collection items, copying photographs and historic views, photograph albums, original architects’ drawings and new survey drawings, engravings and sketches, books and maps, and also receives material from external depositors and accessions.

When you search Canmore for buildings or archaeological sites of interest, anything from the Collections that has already been digitised will be shown (excluding copyright restricted images). There are already 200,000 digital images available online.

Furthermore, all images can be purchased as digital images, photographic prints or poster prints by clicking the Order Image link below each image.

Portobello Pier in Edinburgh was opened in 1871 and demolished after 1918. From the Photograph Albums Collection. DP137192. Image credit: RCAHMS

Portobello Pier in Edinburgh was opened in 1871 and demolished after 1918. From the Photograph Albums Collection. DP137192. Image credit: RCAHMS