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A host of Pritzker and Stirling Prize winners have entered a prestigious contest to design a £50 million new building for the Glasgow School of Art in what one entrant described as “the competition of the decade”.

Following last Friday’s deadline, contest organiser Malcolm Reading Consultants said the chance to design the 11,250sq m teaching and research building opposite the school’s famous Mackintosh building (pictured) on Garnethill had attracted 150 entries including 90% of firms shortlisted for the Stirling over the past five years and three Pritzker laureates.

Confirmed entrants include a number of high profile partnerships and individual entries from Zaha Hadid, Rogers Stirk Harbour, Studio Fuksas, David Chipperfield, Grimshaw, David Adjaye, Feilden Clegg Bradley, Alison Brooks, Allies & Morrison, Hopkins Architects, Gareth Hoskins and Graeme Massie.

But Foster & Partners and Herzog & de Meuron have both opted against throwing their hats into the ring.
“This is a great response to a very significant and exceptionally challenging project,” said organiser chairman Malcolm Reading.
“The level of international entries, as well as those from the UK, is exceptional and an indicator of the wide appeal of the project. Glasgow is going to have a sparkling list to choose from.”

Despite the stellar list of entrants, Reading insisted the school was keen to appoint an up-and-coming architect if possible. “There is a serious building to be delivered,” he said, “but the university was very keen that young architects should be encouraged. So we’ve encouraged people to form partnerships.
“Rennie Mackintosh was 28 when he won the competition in the 1890s. We don’t know if history will repeat itself, but the school is looking for something fresh.”

Since the competition launched in March, the expression of interest has been downloaded 11,000 times and the web site visited 57,000 times. Most of those actually entering are foreign architects with 60% from Europe, 30% from the US and 10% from Asia.

A jury including David Mackay from Barcelona-based firm MBM and Christine Hawley, dean of the built environment faculty at the Bartlett, will select a shortlist of between five and seven entries, to be announced on May 22.
Final design proposals will be submitted in July and a winner is due to be announced towards the end of September.

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