Charles Rennie Mackintosh worked to try and mix art and design with architecture and nowhere was his influence demonstrated more than his hometown.
The Courier Travel looks at the man’s finest masterpieces…
Hill House, which sits high above the River Clyde, is Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s finest domestic creation. Commissioned in 1902 by the Glasgow publisher Walter Blackie, the house still makes a striking statement today. Blackie asked Mackintosh to design not only the house and gardens, but much of the furniture and interiors too.
Mackintosh duly obliged and his wife, Margaret Macdonald, contributed fabric designs and a unique panel over the fireplace in the drawing room. The result is a daring design with an air of restrained elegance, which still appeals to modern-day tastes.
Glasgow School of Art is considered to be Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterpiece. Completed in 1909 the building heralded a new style in 20th century architecture, while fulfilling its original purpose as a working art school, housing the fine art students and staff, at the heart of GSA’s campus on Garnethill.
On 23 May 2014 a fire damaged the west wing of the Mackintosh building including some studios, the Library and some archival stores and as a result there will be no visitor access to the interiors of the Mackintosh building whilst restoration gets underway. If visiting, make sure to look around the ‘Window on Mackintosh’ Visitor Centre to discover more about the Schools rich history and browse designs by students, staff and alumni in the GSA Shop.
It’s difficult to think about Mackintosh without thinking of the Willow Tea Room in Sauchiehall Street, which was the only tea room building where Mackintosh had complete control over every aspect of the design. He modelled the exterior as well as the interior of the building and even designed the cutlery and waitresses’ dresses.
The Willow name comes from Sauchiehall, the street where it is situated, which in Scottish Gaelic means alley of the willows and the theme of willows are featured throughout the building. We recommend visiting and enjoying an Afternoon Tea with traditional selection of sandwiches, scone with strawberry jam & clotted cream, delicious shortbread and choice of cake from the cake trolley, accompanied by your choice of loose leaf tea or freshly ground coffee.
Join our Charles Rennie Mackintosh tour to Glasgow, available in June & September – departing by coach from Aberdeen, Montrose, Arbroath, Dundee, Perth, Kinross, Dunfermline or Edinburgh.