THE Mackintosh building at Glasgow School of Art is the result of an architectural competition.

In 1896, the city firm of Honeyman and Keppie submitted a design from one of their junior draughtsmen, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The first half of the building was completed in 1899 and the second half 10 years later.

More than a century after it opened, Mackintosh's School of Art remains a functional working building.

It is increasingly seen as a important architectural monument in its own right and is a listed building.

With increasing interest in Mackintosh and Glasgow, the School of Art -which is recognised as one of the architect's masterpieces - is visited by more than 20,000 people a year.

It is home to an extensive range of furniture and fittings, watercolours and architectural drawings by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The school also owns a substantial collection of work by former staff and students and a large archive. -

It has produced most of Scotland's leading contemporary artists and since 2005 almost a third of Turner Prize nominees.

Since 2009, a rolling programme of work has been carried out to upgrade the historic building.

Stuart Robertson, director of the Mackintosh Society, was on a tour of Mackintosh buildings when he heard news of the fire.

He said: "My reaction was shock and horror. The building is unique and the Royal Incorporation of British architects voted it the best designed building by a British architect in 170 years.

"The building is priceless and there are a lot of valuable items in the library area which is one of Mackintosh's works of art."