Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s distinctive architectural styles at the turn of the century is something to be admired in the very heart of Glasgow.
Mackintosh Glasgow Walking Tour
I recently went on the Mackintosh Glasgow Walking Tour hosted by the CitizenM. If you are inspired by architecture, design, and history then you definitely need to do this tour if you are popping to Glasgow for a visit.
The tour started off with a group of around ten of us, with one of Glasgow School of Art’s (GSA) own students as the tour guide speaking about the original GSA building which Charles Rennie MacKintosh designed in 1909 which is considered to be his masterwork. Unfortunately, due to a fire in the building in 2014, we were unable to tour the building but the lovely (and very knowledgeable) tour guide gave us a thorough demonstration using a model building.
I’m from Glasgow myself and I didn’t know all of the heritage behind the original GSA building. Little ole me having no knowledge of architecture, the tour guide was great – friendly, approachable and she presented lots of opportunities to ask questions.
My fiancé who is originally from Sweden also found it really interesting to learn about the GSA building, with it being so iconic especially in terms of Glasgow’s architectural history.
It was intriguing to hear a little about Mackintosh and his background coming from a working-class background in the 1800’s – he was someone who my Mum always admired and now I can understand why. With his wife also being a student of GSA, she was also very influential with her design work becoming one of the defining features of the “Glasgow Style” during the 1890s.
It was heartening to hear that the restoration process will be completed in 2019. I can’t wait to visit the building again when it reopens, as I now feel that I know the significance behind all of its intricate features which will bring a whole new sense of appreciation.
As the tour guide explained that they will be restoring the building based on a photo of the original design of the building when it was first opened, so it will look almost identical to how Mackintosh originally set it out to be.
As a keen lover of interior design, my favourite part of the tour had to be the visit to the furniture gallery. It was inspiring to see the original furniture which Mackintosh designed himself and learning about how he would collaborate with his wife Margaret who was also a pioneer and a huge part of Glasgow’s Arts and Craft movement at the time. I was surprised at how untraditional the furniture, with one of the pieces being bright yellow contrasting with a vibrant purple which is something you would most likely see today in modern designs it just proved how forward-thinking Mackintosh truly was. Also, the scope of Mackintosh’s brilliance as when he would work on a project he would design every single element, right down to the design on the napkin holders.
Drinks at The CitizenM hotel
After the Mackintosh tour, we were invited to a drinks reception at the CitizenM hotel. Can we just talk about how stunning this hotel is? I was literally taking so many photos because I was just obsessed with the design of everything. I loved the bold red colour throughout the hotel, which was contrasted with the dark furniture inside. Just look at the spiral staircase in the image below – it’s so stylish I was obsessed with it!
I also noticed that the CitizenM had self-check in booths. I thought that a lot of the ideas in the hotel were really forward thinking, which reminded me of how Mackintosh worked as a designer and how he would put his own twist on every little detail and how he was so ahead of his time. I definitely got the same idea with the design of the CitizenM, as it is different to any hotel I’ve ever been to.
I’m currently in the process of decorating my house and I got tons of inspiration from this hotel. The bookcases were glorious, filled with lots of quirky ideas. I was even googling hanging bubble chairs and I asked my fiancé if he thought our ceiling could sustain a hanging chair because I loved seeing them in the hotel, ha! Unfortunately as much fun as we had swinging on them, he thought it may be a bad idea in our house (he’s probably right I would probably swing through a wall).
I hoped you liked this review! Let me know what you think in the comments👀💜
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* Please note that this is in collaboration with CitizenM and may contain affiliate links, however as always all of my opinions are my own.