Landmarks: The Glasgow School of Art

Click to follow
My choice would be the Glasgow School of Art. It is a rather obvious selection, for which I make no apology. I decided not to do what architects always do and go for the trendily obscure. It was designed and built by Charles Rennie Mackintosh between 1897 and 1910.

Whilst it is an obviously modern building, it fits in well with its surroundings. It is the same height as the adjoining tenements, built of similar sandstone and behaves itself very well in the city context. .

The south elevation faces the city and sits on the edge of one of Glasgow's drumlins. It is strongly reminiscent of a Scottish castle as it has few windows and huge expanses of unbroken wall area.

The north side is very functional with its regular pattern of large studio windows, broken in the centre by a jigsaw of elements assembled asymmetrically around the entrance door in a rather wild way. It is also broken by the special ironwork that Mackintosh designed, providing one of the building's many examples of the Glasgow School style. This contrasts with the west side which has a clear Viennese influence.

One of the delights of the interior is the library with its four-sided gallery supported by a forest of pine columns. Hanging centrally are a dozen or so lamps clustered at different heights. They are inlaid with black and white coloured glass and look like the tops of New York skyscrapers.

Nobody can visit the building without being impressed. It has a simple plan yet it is full of mystery and incredible contrast.

Angus Care studied at the Glasgow School of Art and joined the Glasgow-based Building Design Partnership in 1976

(Photograph omitted)

Comments