Manipulating his materials to take part in his vision of ‘total design’, Mackintosh knew how to instil wonder. Each square, line and pane of glass has been touched with a dream to create unity among a mix of styles and the result is awe-inspiring.
The father of Glasgow’s style, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, was at the very heart of the city’s rising reputation in architecture and fine arts. His obsession for design led him to study styles from home and abroad ranging from furniture to fixtures, colours to cutlery. This architecture mastermind left no detail overlooked, making his designs all-encompassing works of art. Take a trip around the city of Glasgow to see some of his achievements.
Start where Mackintosh started at the Glasgow School of Art
A mixture of soaring glass bays, iron curves and Scottish tower house impressions, this art school was the first major project to have Mackintosh’s name on it after he won the competition for its design. The twisting unity of metal and stone is still home to the top students in the area of visual art and design and they invite you to come in, take a tour of the building and view their exhibitions. Year round, you can find spectacular art hidden inside and for those seeking a little more information, there is an hour-long tour on Mackintosh and his inspirations.
Scotland Street School puts you back in the classroom
Source: Scotland Street School
The next building you need to see is the Scotland Street School. The simple yet window-heavy façade is broken up by two enormous semi-circle stair towers and the courtyard is encased with delicately shaped iron gates and fences. The school has now been made into a museum dedicated to the history of education in Scotland. Here you can get involved by testing your own design skills with their interactive displays and even experience the way children learned in the early 1900s.
Hunting for information at The Hunterian
Source: The Hunterian Museum Main Hall © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2012.
Go back to the beginnings and head to The Huntarian where you can find the most extensive collection of Mackintosh’s architectural drawings in the world. These blueprints are bound to draw you in with their incredible detail and you will even see some familiar sights if you had a chance to visit the schools before making it here. Many of the sketches on display have never been showcased before, so take a moment to really explore these unique drawings.
Source: The Mackintosh House Studio-Drawing Room © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2012.
Take a tour of Mackintosh’s house in the meticulously reassembled copy of his home at the museum. When his building was demolished most of the fittings and fixtures were kept in order to recreate his space for the world to see. Even the lighting Mackintosh so carefully planned for himself has been imitated, showing his rooms the way he would have seen them.
Sip away in style at the Willow Tea Room
Source: Willow Tea Rooms
If your eyes are done devouring the immaculate lines and corners of Glasgow, make one more stop at the Willow Tea Room and fill your stomachs. As you sit and enjoy a three-tier cake platter filled with treats to compliment your tea, be sure to look up and look around. The magnificent rooms here are both designed and filled with designs from Mackintosh. Even your chairs are all part of his vision of ‘total design’. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop on the way out.
For those who love art and architecture and those wanting a little inspiration, Glasgow offers you a fascinating snap shot into the brilliant mind of Mackintosh. Stay right in the middle of it all at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow.