The Reid Building at The Glasgow School of Art Designed by Steven Holl Architects Opens April 9

The Reid Building at The Glasgow School of Art, designed by Steven Holl Architects in partnership with JM Architects (Glasgow), will open on April 9, 2014. The new 11,250-square-meter building, which stands across from Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art, houses a broad range of studios and teaching facilities for the School of Design, as well as workshops, lecture facilities and auditorium, communal student areas, administration and directorate offices, exhibition spaces, and the GSA’s new visitor center: Window on Mackintosh.

The Reid Building is in complementary contrast to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 1909 Glasgow School of Art—forging a symbiotic relation in which each structure heightens the integral qualities of the other. Inspired by Mackintosh’s inventive manipulation of the building section to introduce and deploy light in a tremendous variety of inspiring and successful ways, the new design complements its neighbor, but moves forward using a new language of light. With well-proportioned studio and workshop spaces at the core of teaching and making art, these spaces are arranged in plan and section with natural side and top light for inspiring work environments.

An homage to Mackintosh in space, “driven voids of light” allow for the integration of structure, spatial modulation and light. The light shafts penetrate the building’s core and deliver natural light and vertical air circulation through the depth of the building, providing direct connectivity with the outside world through the changing intensity and color of the sky.

The new building, rated BREEAM Excellent, integrates several innovative sustainable design features, such as storm water retention, collection and reuse, and green roofs. The driven voids of light provide natural ventilation throughout the building, eliminating the need for air conditioning. A new biomass plant serves the new Glasgow School of Art, the original Mackintosh building and the Bourdon Building.

A key feature of the building, which is Phase 1 of the GSA’s Garnethill Campus development, is a signature artwork by 2011 Turner Prize winner, Martin Boyce. A Thousand Future Skies takes the form of a 4.3m x 8.9m hanging screen of painted steel and glass geometric vines installed over the main entrance to the building. The Reid Building, which is named after former GSA Director, Dame Seona Reid, has been funded by a grant from the Scottish Funding Council.

The Reid Building exhibition gallery opens with Caesura, an exhibition of specially commissioned furniture, sound installation and video work responding to the new building. For the purpose built exhibition space on the ground floor of the new building, Director Jenny Brownrigg has invited four of the GSA’s alumni to respond to the architecture of the space and this point in the School’s 170 year history. Incorporating both physical and digital works, the exhibition exploits the full potential of the new gallery space. The exhibition runs from 22 March – 4 May 2014 and is part of the included program for the 2014 Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art.