The good news is that in addition to money flowing in to repair the Glasgow School of Art that nearly burned down this spring, school officials seem firmly inclined to restore to the original state both the school building, most of which survived the fire, and the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed library hall that was destroyed.
But you can never be too sure, and, as this piece in the Guardian, “Glasgow School of Art to host Venice conference on rebuilding after fire,” suggests, there remain some who seek to topple such sound sense. On the theory that an excellent copy would be an excellent insult – a “Mockintosh,” in the modernist occult vernacular – they want the school to hire an architect who will ensure that “our era” is represented in the building’s reconstruction. Especially verboten would be restoring the library itself as closely as possible to its original state. Copy the glorious past? How retrograde! Beauty be damned!
Well, let the conference in Venice be held, and let a thousand dunces dance on the head of a pin. But at a proposed second conference in Glasgow just nail down the intelligent initial impulse of almost everybody involved, and get the building rebuilt as Macintosh intended. Nothing less will suffice.