I am delighted that Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh Building will be rebuit!
I do feel it is the only possible decision.
Who would be the one who decided No? I have not heard one good reason not to rebuild. Sad, pastiche? The Parthenon was largely rebuilt in the 1920's. Knowing that, It is no less of a thrill to stand there in awe today. La Fenice in Venice has burned down and been rebuilt three times since the first fire in 1790. To attend an opera there was an utter delight. Was I sad that I was not sitting in the original? No I just marvelled and was grateful that they rebuilt so beautifully. Dresden was rebuilt after the Second World War. Do we look at it and call it sad? (As one writer claimed a rebuild of The Mack would be.) No, we admire the resilience, determination and the wonderful skill with which it was done.
Stone is stone and wood is wood. They are not sentient. The feeling is in the designers, the viewers and the users. It is not which exact stone is in the design - how the materials are put together - the proportions, shapes, volumes - it is the choices the architect made that create the magic, the thrill. The Mack was/is unique (it still, thankfully, exists in digital form!). Architecture is a precise art. The money will be found. And one of the best decisions made by GSA - to have every student who gets a place at Glasgow have their first year in The Mack - may yet be implemented.
I was lucky enough to have that experience for four years. I would not deny it to future generations who I expect will treat it as we did - irreverently kicking open the doors when you had a large painting in your hands, dropping paint/clay/plaster on the floors and walls, hanging your coat on the statues. Using it, living and creating in it. New students will add the patina of use over time and we will have the thrill of seeing it as Mackintosh did. New and still, as the old one was, uniquely fit for purpose.
I would love to see GSA acquire the land between the Mack and Sauchiehall St and launch a competition for a new campus building to stand in front of (and not obscure!) The Mack and Steven Holl's Reid Building. (I am a fan.) What a challenge for young architects!
I am sure Mackintosh would approve.