The Glasgow School of Art just announced that New York-based architect Steven Holl won the competition to design an elegant new studio, teaching and research building. The project focuses on reducing energy use by providing daylight infiltration deep within the building. Recycled glass is used exclusively throughout the entire facade of the art school building, and the interior spaces are flooded with light from carefully placed light wells and large windows.
Steven Holl collaborated with JM Architects and engineering firm Arup to design the light-filled building. The project is located directly across the street from the school’s well-known Mackintosh Building designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, which was completed in 1909. Mackintosh’s building was known for its manipulation and use of light and Holl and his team used this as an inspiration for the new building, which was designed to complement it. “Whereas the Mackintosh has a thick skin and thin bones, our building has a thin skin and thick bones. They are complementary,” said Holl when he unveiled the design last week in Glasgow.
The 121,094 sq ft art school building will house studio and project spaces, a lecture hall, seminar rooms, a café, and exhibition and administrative spaces. The entire facade will be coated in a skin of matte 100% recycled glass, which offers a translucent quality, without being overly reflective.
A large light well in the project’s roof provides daylight throughout the building, while north-facing windows provide even light in studio spaces. Rooms were placed and designed according to what kind of light they would receive during the school year, and when they would used the most. Additionally, the building, which is expected to be finished by 2013 includes an intelligent solar cavity that harvests heat in the winter and cools the building in the summer.