The 5 best Glasgow Mackintosh works
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On 7 June 1868, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the famous Scottish architect, interior designer and watercolourist, was born in Parson Street, near to the site where later he designed the Martyrs School. He lived most of his life in Glasgow.
In 1890 Mackintosh was a winner of the Alexander Thomson Travelling Studentship, set up for the “furtherance of the study of ancient classic architecture”, leaving Glasgow to travel around Italy, Belgium and France.
From 1883 until 1894, Mackintosh, his future wife Margaret MacDonald, her sister Frances MacDonald, and Herbert MacNair met at evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art, one of the leading art academies in Europe. They became known as a collaborative group, “The Four” or “The Glasgow Four” as they became known, and were prominent members of the “Glasgow School” movement, and their works were successfully exhibited across Europe, being influential on European design movements such as Art Nouveau and Secessionism.
He also resumed his work with the Honeyman & Keppie architectural practice, where he started his first major architectural project, the Glasgow Herald Building (now known as The Lighthouse), in 1895.
Since then until 1906, he developed all his major commissions, including designs for private homes, commercial buildings, interior renovations, churches and his masterwork, that helped make his international reputation: the Glasgow School of Art.
Much of these works combine Mackintosh’s own designs with those of his wife Margaret, whose flowing style complemented his more formal, rectilinear work.
Unfortunately, Mackintosh’s work met with considerable indifference by his home city and the architectural establishment, and his career soon declined.
Disillusioned with architecture, Mackintosh worked his last decades in England and France, largely as a watercolourist, painting numerous landscapes and flower studies, until he died in London on 10 December 1928.
*Important note: the Glasgow School of Art and the Willow Tea Rooms are currently closed under restoration.
Admire the Hill House
Helensburgh town, was settled by businessmen whose wealth came from the industrialised Glasgow. In 1902, the publisher Walter Blackie commissioned Charles Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald to design and built a new home and most of the interior furniture, contents and fittings.
Mackintosh spent some time in the Blackies’ home to observe their everyday life and design every aspect of the house.
Before long, an agreed set of plans was produced and extended to every detail of the exterior and interior of the house creating a mixture of Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Scottish Baronial and Japonisme architecture and design.
Finished in 1904, it has been recently restored, so it looks almost exactly as it did when the Blackie family moved in.
Exterior and interior fully designed by Charles Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald.
Visit the Scotland Street School
Scotland Street School was designed between 1903 and 1906 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
At its peak, it could accommodate 1250 pupils from the Kingston and Tradeston districts. However, by the 1970s the area began to decline and It closed as a school in 1979.
It is now a museum that tells over 100 years story of education in Glasgow. There are rooms dedicated to learning from the Victorian period until 1960s, a Mackintosh room which includes the architect’s designs for the building, and a wide range of activities and exhibits.
It is a fantastic example of the Mackintosh architectural style. He based the design of the school on Rowallan Castle and Falkland Palace.
School running until 1970s.
Enjoy The Mackintosh House
Charles Mackintosh and Margaret McDonald lived at 78 Southpark Avenue from 1906 to 1914. They redecorated the principal interiors in his distinctive style, but the original house was demolished in the 1960s to make room for the Glasgow University’s expansion.
Fortunately, the original fixtures, including fireplaces, windows, doors and skirtings, were preserved and reassembled as an integral part of the Hunterian Art Gallery.
In 1981, the Glasgow University rebuilt the form of the house approximately 100 metres from the site of the original. The fixtures and content were reassembled as closely as possible to the original interiors, including the hall, drawing room, dining room, studio and a principal bedroom. The selection of other soft furnishings was based on contemporary descriptions of the house and photographs of the period.
Reassembled interiors from the private Mackintosh home.
Discover The Lighthouse
The former Glasgow Herald building was the first public commission that Charles Rennie Mackintosh worked on, and is a fine example of Art Nouveau architecture.
It was reopened in 1999 as part of Glasgow’s status as UK City of Architecture and Design, the Lighthouse in Glasgow is Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture.
The museum offers a changing programme of exhibitions focused on the impact of architecture on our everyday lives and some multi-purpose spaces.
The current owner of this A-listed building is the Glasgow City Council.
First public commission that Charles Rennie Mackintosh worked on.
Go to the House for an Art Lover
Situated in Bellahouston Park, the building of House for an Art Lover was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret MacDonald in 1901, but was not built until 1989-1996 (its construction had to stop some years because a crisis occurred in the early 1990s).
They used Mackintosh plans that were submitted as part of a competition in German art magazine ‘Zeitschrift für Innendekoration’, trying to get a result as closely as possible to Mackintosh’s 1901 designs.
Nowadays, the House combines being an art gallery, an exhibition space, a venue of other events and a magnificent visitor attraction.
Designed in 1901, it was not built until 1989-1996.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scotland’s most famous architect is buried in London, but it is possible to find his legacy in 4 gravestones around Scotland designed by him: the gravestone for Chief Constable Alexander McCall (Glasgow´s Necropolis), the gravestone for James Reid (Kilmacolm), the gravestone for Talwin Morris (Dumbarton) and the gravestone for Rev. Alexander Orrock Johnston (East Wemyss).
Art is the Flower. Life is the Green Leaf. Let every artist strive to make his flower a beautiful living thing, something that will convince the world that there may be, there are, things more precious more beautiful – more lasting than life itself.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928).
Research led by SUZANNAH HENDERSON ׀
Date of the Research: 12-22 FEBRUARY 2018 ׀
Publication date: 23 FEBRUARY 2018
Review date: 23 FEBRUARY 2019
Scope of the research & essential inclusion criteria:
|Strong evidence that Mackintosh was involved in this project.||It was built and remains.|
1 Outstanding work.
2 Typical of Mackintosh style.
3 All its parts were made by Mackintosh.
4 He designed interior and exterior.
5 Still being used today for its original purpose.
6 Key to understand Mackintosh work.
7 Unique in its kind.
Premium Validation criteria:
9 He was allowed to design everything freely according to his style.
10 The Mackintosh premises had not been altered since.
12 Open to the public.
13 Free access.
14 Night illumination.
15 Estimated number of visitors.
16 Other features.