The news of the Mackintosh School of Art on fire in Glasgow was quite shocking for all of the Architects I spoke with at the time. With all the far far far more shocking things going on in the world, the destruction of part of this building is strangely personal.

The library – the part that was most damaged – was the most “Mac” concentrated room. I visited a few years ago and was delighted to find (nearly) the whole building open (it was the end of year show) and early in the morning. The place was deserted but for perhaps two students adding finishing touches to their work.

It is the kind of building that should put off all architects from actually practising architecture. The phrase “I hate it because I didn’t design it!” comes to mind.

My favourite part is a journey, up the stairs at the West end to the top where you come into a sort of living room area with a bay window. It leads to the “chicken run” – a fully glazed corridor running along the south side of the top of the building, so bright you have to squint and you can feel the heat of the sun as well as vertigo. At the end of the chicken run everything turns black. There is an internal corridor with no windows and all of the walls are black and there are black doors in the shadows of small black alcoves leading to tutors rooms (I think). Finally back down and to the west of the building again to the one room – the Library… locked!

Well…at least I could see it through the window.

Images: Mac on fire ©; Library interior © Patrick Stimpson