Visit Art Nouveau in Glasgow

Glasgow is the city of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. And it has undergone a large rehab work to restore or even rebuilt his works. And to open his buildings to public. As far as I know, in 2009, it is the Art Nouveau architect with the most important number of buildings open to public! A hop on hop off bus tour is available and also a Mackintosh day pass. Who has dreamed to have a Guimard bus tour in Paris? So let us start the Mackintosh visit :

Glasgow School of Arts (***)

There are numerous guided tours to visit it - no free visit and photos are forbidden ;-( - The guided tours do not go everywhere in the building and important parts of it are not included such as the director-s office, the board room, or the studios. Despite these limitations that for myself do not match at all with the aim of teaching and share ideas about Art, the building still deserves the top mark : 3 stars.

Willow Tea Room (*)

Sauchiehall street 217

Not far from the Glasgow School of Art, the visit is rather deceptive. You can admire plasters and lights on the ground floor. A tea room on the first floor and a tea room with stain glasses on the second floor and a stairway.

Queen-s Cross church (*)

: headquarter of the CR Mackintosh society. Features a tower that shrinks on the top in a shape that had been updated by Art Nouveau (see also the Belgian Art Nouveau). A lot of fine wood work. Rushill Church Hall : entrance through a parish tearoom. few things to see (carved wood and stainglasses) have a look particularly to the toilets.

House of an Art Lover (**)

Bellahouston park, 10 Dumbreck road / Paisley Road West

Build in 2002 after the 14 drawings by Mackintosh for an architecture contest. Mackintosh was eliminated because he did not give the right number of drawings regarding the instructions. It is now a Museum and can be hired as a party room. It is one of the rare places where you are allowed to take pictures. So check the hours for visiting on the web, it can be modified according to party organization. A nice children playground is just beside.The Music room and the dinning room are the most interesting rooms.


I have not been able to visit or see these buildings.

Hill House in Helensburg (***)

Upholder street

Helensburg is a little town on the western shore of Scotland at 26 miles from Glasgow. The visit is certainly one of the most interesting of the building list. The bedroom, the main room and the hall are really worth the drive. It is possible also to go there by train. The train station is less than one mile down the house.

Hunterian Art Gallery : Mackintosh House

It was closed during the two whole weeks I was in Scotland ;-( It is reconstruction of the Mackintosh couple house at 6, Florentine Terrace where they lived from 1906 to 1914

Glasgow center area

if you are by car, I would recommend to park your car in the Michell street car park which has a nice view on the Lighthouse from its top floor.

Willow tea room

Buchanan street 97

Two rooms including the Chinese room have been reconstructed but not exactly. You may find part of the original decoration in the Kelvingston Museum. Very deceptive.

Herald Press Building (**)

Renfield lane

Very narrow street and so very difficult to have good pictures of the top of the building which is the most impressive.

The Lighthouse

Michell lane 10 / Michell street

You may park your car in the Michell street car park which has a nice view on the Lighthouse from its top floor.

On your way to Glasgow

If you come to Glasgow by car from the continent, you will pass very near Northampton where another building by Mackintosh is now open to public. It is only 30 mn more (+ visit) on your journey :

78 Derngate, Northampton

It has been restored to its first design (Mackintosh has redesigned it at least twice to turn it a little brighter - and for me better). No picture allowed unfortunately. See particularly the guests- bedroom (seems to be also in Hunterian) and the hall.

Is Mackintosh the only Art Nouveau architect in Glasgow?

A lot of things turn around Mackintosh in Glasgow. A little less around his three fellows (Margaret Mc Donald, Mackintosh-s wife, her sister France Mc Donald and Herbert Mc Nair, France-s husband). But I could hardly see information about their influence on Glasgow architecture. Are there some -pépites- to be found in Glasgow as we have in Bruxelles or Paris beside of Horta-s or Guimard-s masterpieces? The 144, Saint Vincent street that I have founded by chance let me think that yes. (It was built in 1902 by James Salmon junior) Have you got any information on other interesting Art Nouveau buildings in Glasgow?

©1993-2012 Frank Derville
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