Fire crews are tackling a major blaze at the Glasgow School of Art.
Photographs from the scene show smoke and flames billowing from the windows of the A-listed Charles Rennie Mackintosh building on Renfrew Street. The fire is believed to have started in the basement at around 12.30pm. At 2.25pm the GSA took confirmed the severity of the incident via Twitter:
There has been a major incident at the GSA, the fire service are in attendance. Updates to follow.
— Glasgow School Art (@GSofA) May 23, 2014
Crowds have gathered outside the building throughout the course of the afternoon, and witness have reported at least eight fire engines at the scene.
The Glasgow School of Art has stated that the building has been safely evacuated, but the extent of the damage to the building and its contents remains to be seen. Students have been installing their work in the Mackintosh building in preparation for their end of year assessments. The building is also home to a historic library and archive.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the famous Scottish architect, designer and artist, won a competition to design the building, which was begun in 1897 and completed around a decade later. The building is Grade A listed, and in addition to hosting hundreds of students of the Glasgow School of Art, it is a national tourist attraction in its own right.
Iain Connelly, the president of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, said in a statement:
‘Scotland has seen the loss of an international treasure which reflects the genius of one of our greatest ever architects.
The whole of the architectural profession in Scotland will, I am sure, join with me in sending out a message to the students and staff of the school and all those who have been associated with this building over the decades, a message of sorrow and commiseration at this terrible, terrible news.
It is too early to talk about what happens now, but the architectural profession in Scotland will do anything it can to help in any way.’