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“Glasgow Mackintosh Festival – Anno dell’Innovazione, Architecture & Design” – Roundabout Festival BoX

Antonio Montemurro

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 – 1928) is the most celebrate Scottish architect, designer and artist for his elegant and sophisticated contribution to the Art Nouveau in the UK and as the pioneer of the Glasgow Movement.

Since the 2006, the Glasgow Mackintosh Group, creates a month-long festival where a diverse program of events and activities – focused on architecture, design, visual arts and crafts – takes place across the main Mackintosh Group’s venues: the Mackintosh Church, the Lighthouse, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the Glasgow School of Art, the House for an Art Lover, the Hunterian, the Scotland Steet School Museum, the GMRC and the Mackintosh Queen’s Cross.

In 2016 – from the 1st to the 31st of October – was celebrated the “Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design” with a further activity in St Enoch Centre called ‘Mackintosh the Innovator‘.

Amongst all the venues that host the Festival, it’s worthy to mention:

Queen’s Cross Church, (870 Garscube Road): the only church realized by Mackintosh, is perhaps the first project of the young Architect. Officially opened in 1899, it represents the perfect blend of Scottish vernacular architecture, Art Nouveau and some Japanese influences. Although the exterior recalls auster Middle-age structures, the spectacular vault, the complexity of decorations and particulars of the interiors will remind you of a completely different style.

Mackintos' Queen's Cross Church
Mackintosh’s “Queen’s Cross Church” – ph. Matteo Flores
Mackintosh's Queen's Cross Church interiors
Mackintosh’s “Queen’s Cross Church” (interiors) – ph. Matteo Flores

The Queen’s Cross Church will host (Saturday 29th of October, 10 – 5pm) the “Lids Open Day”, a unique opportunity to play the Steinway Grand Piano and the Broadwook Upright, designed by Baillie Scott. Friday the 28th from 7pm, Laura Browne and Lewis Dunmore will play the great Guitar Recital in the amazing atmosphere of the Queen’s Cross Church. –

Glasgow School of Art (164 Renfrew Street). No doubts: this is the Mackintosh’s masterpiece. Located in the downtown of Glasgow, not far from the stylish Sauchiehall Street, it had been built between the 1897 and 1899 and represent the Manifesto of a new architectonic trend, characterized by severe but sinuous shapes, archaic symbolism and innovative technological architecture, local crafts and industrial design.

Mackintosh's "Glasgow School of Art"
Mackintosh’s “Glasgow School of Art”

Until the end of the festival, you can still enjoy the GSA tour (everyday from 11am to 3pm – booking required) to explore the history and the design of the most famous Mackintosh building and view rare artworks by his wife and collaborator Margaret Macdonalds. Moreover, every Saturday, walking tours start from the GSA accompanied by the most relevant architectural language to describe the Mackintosh innovative design. And don’t miss the 25th October free happening – Student’s day at the GSA – to discover what life was like at the school in the late 19th century. 

The Hill House (Upper Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh). This magnificent house, originally designed for the publicist Walter Blackie, is located in Helensburgh, 25 miles from Glasgow renowned also as important Glaswegian holiday resort. As a magnificent example of extra urban residence, it is famous for the majestic structures and the design of fine furniture.

Mackintosh's "Hill House"
Mackintosh’s “Hill House”

During the Festival, till the 31st of October, it will show an exhibition on the Henry Taylor Wyse’s art piece and influence as artist, teacher and craftsman.

House for an Art Lover (Bellahouston Park, 10 Dumbreck Road) is a vision of undoubted the elegance of shapes within the splendid natural surrounding of the Bellahouston Park.It delights and  astonishes those who walk around the House from the external, landscaped gardens and, from inside, it is possible to appreciate numerous glimpses of the extensive wooden park.  The House was completed in 1996 following the original Mackintosh’s project dated 1901, made in occasion of the German contest of Design.

"House for an Art Lover" - Glasgow
“House for an Art Lover” – Glasgow

During the festival, there will be the “Art is the Flower” lab (until 25th – 6pm – 8pm – £40) that allows participants to experience various media and techniques. Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd (10am – 5pm – £50/90£), participants can attend a course based on Stenciling Skills using the Architect as inspiration. And until the 30th of October (11am – 4pm – free), the Artist-Sculptor-Designer Siobhan Healy will create glass art work in “Glas(S)gow Style” the contemporary reinterpretation of Mackintosh in glass and Swarovski crystal.

The Lighthouse (11 Mitchell Lane) the name originates from the Tower the stands out against the Glasgow city center. The  building, designed by Mackintosh as the official office of the Glasgow Herald Journal, is now the Scottish Centre of Design and Architecture and the Mackintosh Centre. The exhibition shows a huge variety of original architectonical models, including an accurate biography and chronology of the Art pieces. But the most interesting attraction is the spiral staircase in the tower for a break-taking view of the city and of the Clyde river.

Mackintosh's furniture Design - The Lighthouse - Glasgow
Mackintosh’s furniture Design – “The Lighthouse” – Glasgow
Mackintosh's "The Lighthouse" spiralstaircase
Mackintosh’s “The Lighthouse” spiral staircase

To see are the numerous events held during the Festival month, in particular, Karhy Hinde’s Luminous Birdsbuilding Guided Visits and the Mackintosh Film Series dedicated to the Architect’s pieces.

Check more info the complete program, hours and prices on

Glasgow mackintosh logo






Special Thanks to Matteo Flores for contents and pictures

Antonio Montemurro – Roundabout Travel


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