THE Mackintosh building, “the world’s most indestructible building”, can be built again, the chairwoman of the Glasgow School of Art has declared.

Muriel Gray said she believes the world-famous building can be restored from the ashes of the disastrous fire of last weekend.

She said: “I am massively optimistic that we can.”

Speaking after closely inspecting the building with other key staff, Ms Gray said construction firm Kier, which was responsible for the building’s renovation following a previous fire in 2014, had “questions to answer” from the board.

Experts have estimated that it could cost up to £200 million to restore the building after its second major fire in four years.

Ms Gray said she did not know how the blaze began.

The broadcaster and writer said: “People are asking, why are you so quiet? We are waiting to be told the real details, so we can tell the public the real facts. The building wasn’t in our custodianship at the time, it was in Kier’s custodianship.”

Ms Gray has called an emergency board meeting, which will meet today, to determine the future of the building.

Insurance was in place for the renovation of the building, she noted firmly, and she said the board had been assured a “gold standard” fire regime had been installed at the site.

The building is largely “structurally solid”, initial assessments suggest.

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said the building was not being written off, with hope that the facade could be salvaged.

Read more: Roger Billcliffe on the lessons of the 2014 fire

Ms Gray, admitted that although she was shocked by the scale of damage the conflagration had wrought on Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s architectural masterpiece, she did not believe it was a “goner”.

New drone footage shows the famous stone walls in place, but devastation within.

Ms Gray said: “It isn’t a goner. It is by no means a goner, it is still there, recognisably standing as the Mack. It is not a few bricks covered in charcoal, it is the Mack, even with its windows burned out, and no roof.

“So although it’s a shocking thing to look at, I was actually weirdly heartened by getting to see it.

“I know it sounds peculiar but it was lot more optimistic than any of us had expected, having seen the flames. It’s like the world’s most indestructible building.”

Ms Gray said she believes the building can be saved, but noted: “It’s been a massive, massive blow to everyone involved.

“But if we are about to start it again, we know so much more about that building than we have ever known.

“By heavens, we are armed to the teeth with knowledge of the construction, the detail of it, it will make it even easier to begin it. I am not remotely pessimistic about it.”

Ms Gray said that “the biggest job next is to keep morale going, to roll up our shirt sleeves, and start again.But the will is there to do it”.

As for the cost of reconstructing the building, she said “that is ineffable at the moment”. Questions have been asked about anti-fire measures at the site, but Ms Gray was adamant the board had done “everything we could” to guard against a second blaze. She said: “It was absolutely at the top of our agenda. We were massively fire aware.

“And we were completely re-assured that we had done everything, and appointed the correct contractors to apply absolute gold standard fire protection during the construction of one of the most valuable buildings that we have.”

Ms Gray added: “Last time we would be able to answer every question.We have absolutely no idea what happened this time.

“There’s huge questions to be asked, but they are being asked by us, not only to us.”