"My first thoughts tonight are for the safety of people - but my heart also breaks for Glasgow's beloved [School of Art]".
The building in the city centre was not due to reopen to students until September 2019. Crews were called to tackle the blaze at around 11.20pm, and it is now under control.
No casualties have been reported.
Sam Patterson, vice president of the Glasgow Institute of Architects, said the spread of the fire throughout the entire building would make any restoration effort extremely hard.
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The blaze was so intensive that it spread to nearby buildings, including the Campus nightclub and O2 ABC music venue, which suffered "extensive damage".
Labour MP for Glasgow North East and Shadow Scottish Minister, Paul Sweeney, insisted he was "devastated" the building had been plagued by flames again following its 2014 restoration.
It has been described as "a working art school as well as a work of art", and has an A-list rating from Historic Scotland.
Witness Aidan Dick said the fire and smoke grew in intensity "in the space of a few minutes". It was being restored in a project estimated to cost up to £35m.
More than 120 firefighters battled to contain a huge fire that ripped through one of the world's top art schools in the Scottish city of Glasgow on Friday (Jun 15) night.
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Although the fire is now largely contained, around 50 firefighters are continuing to work to extinguish the flames.
The 2014 fire, begun when gases from a foam canister used in a student project were ignited accidentally, caused significant damage and restoration work was still underway.
"This is clearly an extremely serious situation", she added.
"The best we can probably hope for is structural facade retention and a complete rebuild of the interior".
Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of Scotland's most influential figures, inspired designers, architects and artists around Europe with his distinctive style. "The UK Government stands ready to help, financially or otherwise", he said in a statement.
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