Local Rebel and Master of Modern Design
Glasgow’s greatest architect-designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868- 1928), earned Scotland’s second city its reputation as a hub of creativity, but his name recognition was at an Art Lover—designed for a competition in 1901—was finally built in Bellahouston Park, southwest of the city. His undisputed masterpiece, the Glasgow School of Art, has become a place of pilgrimage: when completed in 1899 it was heralded as Europe’s finest example of Modernism.
His restaurants and tearooms about town were also renowned: visit the Willow Tearooms, the only example still standing. Mackintosh ultimately became better known for his furniture designs than for his architecture—some of the furniture at the Willow may be reproduction, but the atmosphere is authentic: ask to be seated in the Salon de Luxe, an Art Nouveau fantasy.
Viewing his designs in their original settings helps Mackintosh fans understand the aesthetic and social context that shaped his ideas.
His inimitable style remains vividly alive throughout town, from designs found on the wrought-iron gates of a private garage to decorative motifs used on restaurant menus and a low ebb until 1996, when his House for the ubiquitous stylized rose that has become a kind of Glasgow logo.