A STRIKING signature piece has been created for a £50 million new building at Glasgow School of Art by one of its most successful graduates, Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce.
Boyce, who was a student in the late 1980s, was commissioned to produce a major work for the foyer of the new modern complex on Renfrew Street.
More than 120 coloured glass leaves feature on the vast work, which takes the form of a “hanging screen” of vertical steel vines suspended from the ceiling of the main foyer.
American architects behind the new Reid Building, named after former director Seona Reid, brought in Boyce to produce a work to “echo” celebrated architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s use of glass in the original 1910 art school, on the other side of the street.
Boyce’s work, which is designed to be “a fusion of art and architecture”, is being hung over the next few days and will be able to be viewed from inside and outside the building.
It is expected to dramatically light up the foyer area when sunlight catches the various glass “leaves”, which are being hung on horizontal branches.
The work, which will see 19 metal vines fill more than half the space of the entrance area, will measure 4.3 metres by 8.9 metres and feature four different sizes of leaf in six different colours.
New York architect Steven Holl has been masterminding the design of the Reid Building, which includes the refurbished student union, with the entire complex due to be officially unveiled in April.
Lanarkshire-born Boyce, who won the Turner Prize three years ago and is based in Glasgow, said: “The piece acknowledges Mackintosh while simultaneously looking forward with the new architecture of Steven Holl.
“The coloured glass curtain of vines will create a threshold through which hundreds of new students will enter to study, work and play then leave and go out into the world as creative thinkers and makers.”
Holl said: “Marking the entrance of our new building at the Glasgow School of Art is a flourish of coloured glass catching and projecting washes of coloured light by Martin Boyce.
“We see this colour in positive contrast to the original colours of Mackintosh and an inspiration to students and the community.”
Professor Tom Inns, director of the art school, said: “Architecture and nature are two major themes in Martin’s practice and these are brought together seamlessly in this beautiful new work.”