Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Spirit of Space has created two short films on the Reid Building at The Glasgow School of Art, which opened in April 2014.
The film series explores the complementary contrast of the new Reid Building and Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 1909 Glasgow School of Art, where each work of architecture heightens the integral qualities of the other. The first film features Steven Holl and Chris McVoy discussing the design of the Reid Building, and its symbiotic relation to Mackintosh’s School of Art. The second film takes the viewers on a poetic climb up and through the social circuit, which purposefully encourages inter-disciplinary activity, with the hope to inspire positive energy for the future of art.
Working simultaneously from the inside out, engaging the functional needs and psychological desires of the program, and the outside in, making connections to the city campus and relating to the Mackintosh building opposite, the Reid Building’s design embodies the School’s aspirations in the city’s fabric.
Mackintosh’s amazing manipulation of the building section for light in inventive ways has inspired our approach towards a plan of volumes in different light. The studio/workshop is the basic building block of the building. Spaces have been located not only to reflect their interdependent relationships but also their varying needs for natural light. Studios are positioned on the north façade with large inclined north facing glazing to maximize access to the desirable high quality diffuse north light. Spaces that do not have a requirement for the same quality of natural light, such as the refectory and offices, are located on the South façade where access to sunlight can be balanced with the occupants needs and the thermal performance of the space through application of shading.
“Driven voids of light” allow for the integration of structure, spatial modulation and light. The “driven void” light shafts deliver natural light through the depth of the building providing direct connectivity with the outside world through the changing intensity and color of the sky. In addition, they provide vertical circulation through the building, eliminating the need for air conditioning.
Along the South elevation, at the same height as the Mackintosh main studios, a landscape loggia in the form of a Machair gives the school an exterior social core open to the city. The natural vegetation with some stone work routes the water into a small recycling water pond which will reflect dappled sunlight onto the ceiling inside.
A “Circuit of Connection” throughout the new Reid Building encourages the “creative abrasion” across and between departments that is central to the workings of the school. The open circuit of stepped raps links all major spaces – lobby, exhibition space, project spaces, lecture theater, seminar rooms, studios, workshops and green terraces for informal gatherings and exhibitions.
The Reid Building, which is named after former GSA Director, Dame Seona Reidwas funded by a grant from the Scottish Funding Council.
The Reid Building films are the fifth collaboration for project films of Steven Holl Architects with Spirit of Space. The films are available on Vimeo through the links below: