Liz Davidson OBE, Hon FRIAS, IHBC, Senior project Manager, Mackintosh Project, Glasgow School of Art, will present a lecture entitled “Restoring the Mackintosh Building following the 2014 fire”, exploring this iconic structure, the influence of Mackintosh and the Four and its restoration.
The fire of May 2014 at the Mackintosh Building at Glasgow School of Art resulted in over half the building being damaged including – most tragically – the world famous Library. The restoration project currently underway is being driven by a vision of returning the ‘ Mack’ to as close a vision of its original principles of spatial planning, air conditioning, flexible room layouts and lighting quality as possible. This lecture will explore the decision making process, research and practicalities involved in achieving these ambitions.
Before taking up the post of Senior Project Manager for the Mackintosh Restoration Project – Liz was head of Heritage and Design at Glasgow City Council and previous to this she led the Heritage Lottery funded Townscape Heritage programme to regenerate the Merchant City through an extensive arts led programme of building repair, repaving and lighting of main streets, proactive cultural and creative business strategy, public art commissions, street markets, and the now annual Merchant City festival. Earlier posts included that of director of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, a charitable property developer rescuing and bringing back to life numerous historic buildings including St. Andrew’s Square Church, the Tobacco Merchants House, Wellpark Enterprise Centre and the iconic blue ‘Tardis’ police boxes. Whilst at the Trust, Liz also pioneered Doors Open Day which introduced the UK’s first free mass architectural participation event, providing access to significant modern and historic buildings. A two year secondment to Historic Scotland also saw the development and launch of the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) programme whereby urban areas have devised programmes of restoration and transformation of some of Scotland’s finest historic burghs encompassing the relearning of traditional skills, repaving of public squares and streets and meticulous conservation of key examples of the area’s architectural heritage. Previous to that, case work across Scotland for the Scottish Civic Trust has given Liz an extensive background in local vernacular architecture in addition to trustee positions on the former Historic Buildings Council for Scotland, the Architectural Heritage Fund and Strathclyde Building Preservation Trust. As former chair of the UK Association of Building Preservation Trusts Liz gained a deep insight into both those organisations which seek to raise funding and investment to maintain and restore the country’s best architectural inheritances and those organisations that wish to support these efforts through grants and loan finance.
In 2010 Liz received an OBE for services to conservation and the built heritage in Scotland.
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