Fire doesn’t just destroy cities – it is the reason they look the way they do

© David Barz/AFP/Getty Images

© David Barz/AFP/Getty Images

The flames flickering through the windows of the Glasgow School of Art’s famous library were a painful reminder of fire’s potential to destroy the most precious things, and indeed the number of great works of architecture lost to fire is uncountable. Without it, of course, we would never have achieved civilisation in the first place, yet even today to be indoors is to always take a certain risk that one could burn to death – a risk most of us ignore. But what we think of even less, perhaps, is that fire – the risk of it, and the measures taken to prevent it – is one of the primary forces that determines the physical shape of our cities. Certainly it will mould the way the Glasgow School of Art is rebuilt.

Full article at the Guardian