Charles Rennie Mackintosh, How Can Anyone Not Love a Man who Designed Tea Rooms?

Posted on

Mackintosh Willow Tea Rooms

Today Mackintosh Architecture opens at RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects) and is on until Saturday 23 May 2015. Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 – 1928), the Scottish architect and artist, is one of the most influential designers of the late 19th and early 20th century and this exhibition devoted to his work features over 60 original drawings, models and films. This is one of the exhibitions I am most looking forward to seeing in London this year as Mackintosh is very special to me as it was discovering more about his work that started my passion for architecture and design, particularly my appreciation of modernist styles.

Mackintosh was born in Glasgow and most of his surviving work can be found in his home city. In 2006 Wendy Jo, dear friend and fellow CRM lover, and I visited Glasgow and joined the Mackintosh in Style weekend organised by the CRM Society.  The weekend was amazing as we visited so many wonderful buildings so I thought I’d post a few photos of our trip.

Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art

Glasgow School of Art

The Glasgow School of Art with its impressive facade is considered to be Mackintosh's masterpiece. Sadly the building was damaged by a fire in May 2010 and there is currently no visitor access to the building at the time of writing this blog.

Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art

Glasgow School of Art

Mackintosh was already well acquaintedwith the Glasgow School of Art when he was granted the commission, as he was a former student and it was while he was studying there he had met his future wife Margaret MacDonald, a fellow artist.

 Mackintosh Daily Record Building

Daily Record Building

The former Daily Record Building which was Mackintosh's first public commission, is now The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture. 

Mackintosh Kelvingrove Art Gallery

 Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove's Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Glasgow Style gallery has a wonderful display of furniture and interior design including some from the Ingram Street Tearooms. 

 Mackintosh House For An Art Lover

 House for an Art Lover

In 1901 Mackintosh entered a competition to design a house for a German magazine but his entry was disqualified as he submitted some of the drawings after the deadline. However in 1989 work started on building the house which was opened to the public in 1996.

Mackintosh House For An Art Lover

 The Music Room - House for an Art Lover

Mackintosh House For An Art Lover

House for an Art Lover

 Mackintosh Hill House

 Hill House

Hill House is in Helensburgh, about 20 miles outside Glasgow, and is now managed by the National Trust for Scotland. Originally built for Walter Blackie, the original furniture, fittings and interior designs have been reinstated or restored. 

Mackintosh Martyrs School

Martyrs' School

Martyrs' School is built on the street where Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born. The school is not open to the public but we visited as part of the tour.

Mackintosh Scotland Street School

Scotland Street School 

Scotland Street School was Mackintosh's last major commission in Glasgow and has some beautiful architectual features including a pair of Scottish baronial style tower staircases. This former school is now a museum.

 Mackintosh Willow Tea Rooms

Willow Tea Rooms 

The Willow Tea Rooms are charming and needless to say my favourite part of the tour as it combined two of my favourite interests achitecture and eating cake.

 Mackintosh Room de Luxe Willow Tea Rooms

Wendy Jo and me in the Room de Luxe at the Willow Tea Rooms  

As I said in the title of the blog how can can you not love a man who has designed such beautiful tea rooms?

Practical Information 

Mackintosh Architecture exhibtion

Address:  RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD

Nearest Tube Stations:  Oxford Circus

Opening Hours:  Monday to Sunday 10am - 5pm and Tuesdays 10am - 8pm

Price:   Free

Website: RIBA

We did visited Glasgow in 2006 as part of a tour organised by the CRM Society.

If you enjoyed this you might like to check out my earlier blog on the Art Deco Delights of the Hoover Building

The author of this blog is a qualified City of London and City of Westminster Tour Guide who leads guided walks combining world famous landmarks with hidden treasures often missed by the crowds.