A GLASGOW architect claims the tender of the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) rebuild “favours the cheapest over the most suitable bid”.

Paul Stallan, co-founder of Stallan Brand, made the claim in the Architects’ Journal in April.

The GSA hasn’t yet found an architect to lead the £62 million revamp of the iconic Charles Rennie Mackintosh design after it was devasted by fires in 2014 and then again in 2018 after a £35m restoration. However, a search is ongoing.

The overall renovation of the building is expected to be completed by 2028 and will be done over 7 stages. The first was to stabilise the building and the second, which will build a structure to reinstate the Mackintosh building, is hoped to be completed by 2024.

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The group that wins the tendering process in question will be in charge of delivering stages 2 to 7.

Writing in the Architect’s Journal, Stallan said he believed the search for an architect is prioritising cost over the best bid. He further argued that reconsideration of the assessment criteria for architects being looked at by the GSA is required.

Stallan says the GSA’s 60:40 quality to cost rationale for the tendering process “is not going to deliver the answer it thinks it wants”.

He wrote: "We need to look a bit closer at the tender assessment criteria for architects being applied by the Glasgow School of Art for the procurement of services to help in the reinstatement of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s fire-ravaged landmark.

"The reason: to highlight a phenomenon that other country’s across Europe have figured out but one which those in Scotland, as in Scottish Government’s civil service together with Scottish Futures Trust, Local Authorities, RIAS, RICS etc, have not.

"The issue: the application of a relative quality price assessment methodology, sometimes known as the 60:40 (quality: cost) method, which GSA is applying in its selection process is not going to deliver the answer it thinks it wants."

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According to Glasgow Live, GSA responded to Stallan’s article by claiming they have ensured that the tender process is "robust and transparent" and will be "assessed rigorously and fairly" so that the rebuild is done by the best team possible.”