Main Entrance at Glasgow School of Art

Main Entrance at Glasgow School of Art

This evening, I am focusing on a piece of Glasgow, Scotland architecture which has been called the most important building worldwide in the first decade of the 20th century. 

Western elevation at Glasgow School of Art

Western elevation at Glasgow School of Art

The Glasgow School of Art building was instigated by Francis Newberry who had been appointed as director of the School on 1885. Driven by the need to move from cramped premises in Sauchiehall Street, a site was acquired in nearby Renfrew Street. The competition for the new building was won by the Glasgow firm of Honeyman and Keppie who were required to keep to an explicit design brief and tight budget. Although not actually specified by name it is widely acknoweldged that Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928 ) was responsible for the drawings.

Eastern elevation, Glasgow School of Art

Eastern elevation, Glasgow School of Art

Due to financial constraints, the building was completed in two stages, first the eastern end rising from the sharp incline of Dalhousie Street and then the western end, facing equally steep Scott Street, which was finished exactly a decade after the first half, in December 1909 by which time Mackintosh was 41 yrs old and had reached the peak of his career. The north facade, with entrance at the centre, exactly reflects the internal plan of the building resulting in a masterpiece of balanced asymmetry.

Front or northern facade of Glasgow School of Art

Front or northern facade of Glasgow School of Art

Specific features worthy of note are:

  • Detail of window brackets.
  • Main entrance on north facade.
  • East facade.
  • Entrance Hall.
  • Museum.
  • Mackintosh Room.
  • Rose motif in doors of studio 45.
  • Decorative tiles.
  • West facade and its door.
  • West corridor.
  • Library.
  • Library lights and internal windows.
  • Loggia ( ‘Hen Run’).
  • Director’s office and Boardroom.

 Here is a video clip of the northern facade

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