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Mackintosh Lighthouse Architecture, Glasgow, Scotland

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This evening, my blog theme is Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Lighthouse in Glasgow. First, however, will address other topical matters of the day:

Glasgow Weather: Dry and mild. As I write this I am witnessing a stunning and vibrant sunset.

Glasgow Ancestry: Just posted information to my separate blog on the Sommerville family from information obtained at Glasgow's Necropolis.

Tours of Scotland: Finalising formalities with a hotel on Isle of Skye re a group tour for September.

Website: Just completed re-vamping two of the older web pages. More to follow!

Mackintosh Architecture: This evening's theme is the Lighthouse in Mitchell Lane which dates from 1893-1895. Was previously known as the Glasgow Herald Building and is now a centre for architecture and design with a section on Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The image above shows the helical staircase (126 steps) leading to the top of the tower where there is a viewpoint affording magnificent views across the city of Glasgow.



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Willow Tea Rooms, Glasgow, Scotland

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

This morning, I am posting information on one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's famous designs, namely the Willow Tea Rooms at 217 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2. (Note that Sauchiehall means 'alley of the willows'.)

Mackintosh (1868-1928) was a Glasgow born designer and artist. His worked spanned a wide range including jewellery, graphics,, wall decoration, paintings (landscapes and flowers), pottery vases and wood engraving. He also designed domestic use objects such as tables, chairs, cutlery, napkins, carpets, mirrors, curtain fabrics, light fittings, beds, hat stands, wardrobes and clocks.

Mackintosh was notable for his design of buildings in their entirety-foundations, structural steel, ventilation systems and plumbing. The thrust of Mackintosh's work was the design of places to be inhabited.

Mackintosh was not alone, he was one member of the 'Glasgow Four' comprising himself, Herbert MacNair and the sisters Margaret and Frances McDonald. This group worked within the Glasgow School of Art (itself designed by Mackintosh) 1890-1910 and produced a wide range of works including furniture, architecture, panels, embroideries and graphic material.

The Willow Tea Rooms were he brainchild of Catherine Cranston and focused on the provision of a respectable, social meeting place for ladies of the era. Mackintosh was Catherine Cranston's designer for 21 years from 1897 where he worked on properties at Buchanan Street, Argyle Street, Imgram Street and during 1903-4 at Sauchiehall Street where he designed the complete interiors and front facade of the building (shown here) acquired by Miss Cranston in 1901.


Contact me for information on Mackintosh themed tours of Glasgow.


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Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Glasgow, Scotland

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This morning was a classic, wet and overcast day in Glasgow. However, undeterred, I visited a couple of key Mackintosh sites, namely Ruchill Church Hall and the Mackintosh Church which are relatively close to each other near Queen's Cross.

Mackintosh (1868-1928) was a leading architect/designer and a key member of the 'Glasgow Four' which comprised Mackintosh, Herbert MacNair, and the sisters Margaret and Frances McDonald. This group were centred on the Glasgow School of Art (also designed by Mackintosh) and were prolific in the production of decorative works of furniture, architecture, panels, embroideries and graphic material.

It was pleasing to see the Ruchill Church Hall (1898-1899) still being for its original purpose as a church hall/community centre. At time of my visit here there was some sort of play group in process. Refreshments for the public were also available. The Hall , one of Mackintosh's minor works, was built as a mission prior to construction of the adjacent church (not designed by Mackintosh). The image below together with this video clip show the exterior of the Hall. The second video at foot of this posting shows part of the interior.

The Mackintosh Church is contemporary with the Glasgow School of Art (1897-9). It was designed by Mackintosh for architect firm, Honeyman and Keppie. The design reveals a sophisticated handling of form, ornament and symbolic meaning. For an appreciation of the interior see this video clip.

This image shows the pitched, glazed roof of the Mackintosh Church hall with handsome beam structure.

This image shows the barrel-vaulted roof, Nave and Gallery of the Mackintosh Church.

Video no 1 below is the exterior of the Mackintosh Church whilst video no 2 shows interior of Ruchill Church Hall.

video video


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Anonymous jj said...

good pictures, good information, keep up the good work

January 26, 2010  

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C.R.Mackintosh's Scotland Street School, Glasgow

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This morning, I visited Scotland Street School which is now a museum telling the story of education in Scotland 1872-late 20th century with benefit of three reconstructed period classrooms.

As regards the architecture, this was Mackintosh's last major commission in Glasgow which serves to reveal the genius of the architect at a mature stage of his career. The design includes impressive leaded glass towers, magnificent tiled entrance hall, unique stonework and a demonstration of the interplay of light and space. Inside can be seen the designs for the building.


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House for Art Lover Glasgow Scotland

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thia afternoon I am posting a video clip taken within last 24 hours of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's House for Art Lover in Glasgow.

Unfortunately, interior was closed at time of visit but extremely favourable weather conditions suited filming of the impressive exterior.

This building was completed in 1996 from Mackintosh's drawings dating from 1901 which were submitted via a competition entry to a German design magazine.

Mackintosh designed everything, from buildings down to all aspects of the interior. The house incorporates a permanent exhibition of decorative furnished rooms by contemporary artists and craftspeople.

Mackintosh's wife, Margaret McDonald, was also involved in the design.

Entry fee is modest and the House is deserving of a visit when in Glasgow.



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Mackintosh Scotland Street School Glasgow

Monday, March 30, 2009

This afternoon, I visited one of architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh's buildings namely the Scotland Street School Museum which dates from 1903-1906.

This building is located at 225 Scotland Street, Glasgow and represents Mackintosh's last major commission. Note the impressive leaded glass towers, tiled entrance hall, unique stonework and the interplay of light and space.

Inside, the museum tells the story of education in Scotland from 1872 to late 20th century.

video video


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Mackintosh Small Group Architecture Tour Glasgow

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This evening, I am posting a selection of images from yesterday's Charles Rennie Mackintosh themed tour of Glasgow.

Mackintosh (1868-1928) was a designer and artist whose work encapsulated a wide range of skills including jewellery, graphics, wall decoration, paintings, pottery, furniture, cutlery, light fittings and much more. He designed complete buildings from their foundations and structural steel, ventilation systems and plumbing. At the heart of his work was the design of places to be occupied in context of form, light and material.

Our first stop was the famous House for an Art Lover to which the following nine images relate.

This was designed in 1901 but not completed until 1996. The catalyst was a competition in a German design magazine which sought entries to design "a grand house in a thoroughly modern style". Mackintosh did not win the competition but was awarded a special prize.

Front elevation
Interior light fitting
Sequence of rooms demonstrating their form.

Piano in music room. Visitors are welcome to play this instrument.

Light fittings
Fire place
Chairs, windows and light in the music room ( set up for a wedding).

Another front elevation

After the House for an Art Lover we moved to Scotland Street School Museum. This was Mackintosh's last public commission in Glasgow and was built between 1903 and 1906.
Mackintosh reversed tradition and gave the towers with conical roofs walls of glass and barrow stone mullions. He played off the verticality of the towers against the horizontal nature of the rest of the building.

For lunch we went to the Corinthian Restaurant which has no connection with Mackintosh but, nevertheless, an architectural gem. It was built in 1842 and for the next century housed various banks and subsequently the city's High Court. The stunning interior was refurbished in 1999.

Here is the roof dome.
A detail of cornice
External view of the Corinthian.

After lunch we moved on the Glasgow School of Art for a tour lasting over an hour. This is acknowledged as Mackintosh's masterpiece. For more information, see yesterday's blog posting.
Image below is the main entrance.
Our final stop was the Mackintosh Church ( 1897-9) which is contemporary with the School of Art. This design reveals a sophisticated handling of form, ornament and symbolic meaning.
This building is no longer used for worship but is the main office of the Mackintosh Society.
Regrettably, light conditions were sub-optimal at time of the visit and hence images below are not of high quality but, nevertheless, should give the viewer a basic appreciation for Mackintosh's work.

Overall, a good tour lasting from about 0930 to 5.15pm


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Mackintosh School of Art Tour Glasgow

Friday, November 21, 2008

Today, I arranged a provided a small group, Charles Rennie Mackintosh tour for some visitors from a variety of overseas countries. Tomorrow, I will post a full record of this fascinating tour, but in the meantime I am presenting some images of Mackintosh's masterpiece, namely the Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street. although officially designed by the Glasgow firm of Honeyman and Keppie, it is acknowledged that Mackintosh actually drew up the scheme.

Due to tight finances, half of the building was completed in 1899 with the western end finished exactly a decade later in 1909 when Mackintosh was 41. This has been called the most important building worldwide in that decade.

We enjoyed a full tour of the interior, which is still a working college, during which photographs were not allowed.

The images below are of the building' s exterior.

The following two images are of the main entrance.

Side of the building

Front if the building.

See tomorrow's blog for more detail on the tour.


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House for Art Lover in Spring

Saturday, March 08, 2008

This morning I visited Glasgow's Bellahouston Park and took some pictures of Mackintosh's famous House for an Art Lover from a garden perspective with many bulbs and flowers beginning to emerge.

Although designed in 1901, the House of an Art Lover was not completed until 1996. It is a stunning creation, both internally and externally. It looks particularly appealing in the spring sunshine!

Visit this web page for information on Glasgow Tours. Gardens tours are also available.


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This afternoon I am presenting images from yesterday's Mackintosh tour of Glasgow.

The images below are of the final site we visited, the famous Mackintosh Church, the only church built to the designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and which now houses the HQ of the Mackintosh Society.

The building was commissioned by the Free Church of St. Matthew, Glasgow. The foundation stone was laid on June 23rd 1898 and the building opened for worship on Sept 10th 1899.

This building was contemporary with Mackintosh's design for the Glasgow School of Art.

Here are some Mackintosh designed chairs in the hall which is accessed from from the rear of the church. There is also a piano in the hall-which one of out tour members payed very well!

Here is a view of the nave taken from the gallery.

View of the East Gallery. Note barrel vaulted roof which is similar to an upturned boat keel. This may have been an important symbol because at the time the church was built Glasgow was the powerhouse of world shipbuilding and there would have existed a pool of skilled craftsmen able to construct such a roof.

View of the south gallery

For more information on Mackintosh Architecture tours visit this web page


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Friday, March 07, 2008

This evening, I am presenting an image of the exterior of the Glasgow School of Art which is acknowledged as the finest of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's architectural projects to have been built during his lifetime.

In 1896 Mackintosh won a competition which provided a somewhat revolutionary design incorporating a combination of huge windows and plain masonry.

Sadly, photographs of the interior are not permitted but guided tours of this still thriving art academy are provided by students and last about one hour. The interior is packed with distinctive Mackintosh designs and furniture.

A major US$15M refurbishment programme is in process.This will serve to boost visitor numbers by improving public access. Work on the building will include restoration of original features and removal of modern additions, plus a full programme of timber and stone repair. The new facilities will include a (Mackintosh) interpretation centre.

A visit to the School of Art will prove of great interest, especially to persons familiar with architecture and design. From the top floor a panoramic view of Glasgow is provided. However, there are no lifts/elevators.

For more information on Glasgow Mackintosh tours visit this web page


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This evening I am presenting various images from today's Charles Rennie Mackintosh tour which included the famous House for an Art Lover. This design was submitted in 1901 for a competition sponsored by a German magazine for a sumptuous Haus eines Kumsdtfreundes. This inspired Mackintosh and his wife Margaret MacDonald to create a princely private dwelling which is acknowledged as a masterpiece of early Modernism.

The House was finally completed in 1996 and can be found in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park near to the famous Burrell Collection.

There are a number of interesting Mackintosh sites in Glasgow and there exists a society dedicated Mackintosh's work.

See this web page or more information on Mackintosh tours.


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