Cranes move in to dismantle fire ravaged Glasgow School of Art

The iconic and world famous Mackintosh Building of the Glasgow School of Art and adjacent 02 ABC venue showing the extensive fire damage caused by the recent fire which ravaged both buildings. A decision has now been taken to dismantle at leasrt part of the Mackintosh building, as its walls have moved several inches as a result of the fire and the building has been assessed as unstable in its present state.
The iconic and world famous Mackintosh Building of the Glasgow School of Art and adjacent 02 ABC venue showing the extensive fire damage caused by the recent fire which ravaged both buildings. A decision has now been taken to dismantle at leasrt part of the Mackintosh building, as its walls have moved several inches as a result of the fire and the building has been assessed as unstable in its present state.
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Robust security barriers have been put in place around the fire-ravaged Glasgow School of Art ahead of demolition work expected to start later this week

The site is being sealed off ahead of controlled work by contractors to demolish the south facade at the east end of the Charles Rennie Macintosh building.

Earlier Glasgow City Council had issued a warning that parts of the structure were in danger of sudden collapse.

Contractors will also remove a pair of distinctive wrought-iron finial roof decorations to preserve them for the future, during the demolition process.

The ornaments, consisting of floral orbs crowned with a bird, were over the central roof of the art school’s main entrance and the other over the east gable.

Last-minute discussions were held yesterday at a building control meeting between Glasgow City Council officials and Reigart, the art school’s contractors, to finalise the methodology for the work.

The fire on 15 June was the second to hit the grade A-listed building, which was undergoing a multi-million pound restoration, following a smaller blaze in May 2014.

The 2014 fire, sparked by a canister from a student project, led to the rebuilding of the Mackintosh library which had been completed in 1909, and the west wing.

A spokeswoman for the art school said: “The Glasgow School of Art’s expert structural engineers, David Narro Associates, and contractor, Reigart, have prepared the methodology for the work which needs to be undertaken on the Mackintosh Building.

“This has been shared with Glasgow City Council building control and Historic Environment Scotland.

“Over the weekend work to assess the condition of the Mackintosh Building continued with further drone footage collected. Meanwhile, preparation work for the managed dismantling of the elements of the building that have been deemed dangerous got under way, on schedule, today.

The spokeswoman added: “The main crane has been relocated to the corner of Sauchiehall Street and Dalhousie Street, and a second crane is expected to join it tomorrow.

“The work to begin dismantling the south façade will start as soon as possible following approval of the methodology by Glasgow City Council building control.

“The cordon for the whole site, which includes the O2 ABC and Jumpin’ Jaks, remains under the control of Glasgow City Council.”

Dozens of residents who had to leave their homes due to the fire are still displaced. Residents of 33 properties have had no access to their homes since the fire.

Council leader Susan Aitken has said it could be up to three months before they are allowed to return home.

Ms Aitken also said that requests for photo opportunities inside the charred building received from David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, and an MP, had been turned down.

She gave the information while telling local residents from the exclusion zone that the site was still “too dangerous” for them to return and get into their homes.

At a meeting of the Garnethill Displaced Residents Group at the weekend, people were told that information would be available on how to obtain money from a hardship fund set up by the council and the government.

It entitles each household to £3,000.

Meanwhile many residents have complained about a lack of information.

A recent post on the group’s Facebook page detailing concerns about security, said: “I enquired at cordon/security hut about whether it was true or not that security for the inner cordon are leaving in a couple of days time leaving our homes vulnerable to break-ins.

“The security guard refused to give his name, and said he would go speak his supervisor. He returned and she (the supervisor) would not be making a statement.

“The first security guard then had a brief conversation out of ear-shot with the policeman at the cordon on Dalhousie Street, in which the policeman then walked over to me and said ‘You can’t just come up here unannounced asking questions. You need to go through the proper channel’.

“Despite me telling them that I represented the Displaced Residents Group, they still wouldn’t answer me.”

Jane Sutherland, chairwoman of Garnethill community council, said that local residents and businesses needed accurate updates.

“All the emphasis has been on the building and saying that there’s no casualties to this fire,” she said.

Ms Sutherland added: “There are loads of casualties to this fire: all the 33 households and the 350 employees of the businesses in the cordon.”

“The city needs to be in a position to say to people ‘this is going to be two months, three months’.”