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The Architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

The turn-of-the-century design icon's architectural projects reveal his modern foresight.
Mackintosh drew inspiration from Scottish castles and tower-houses for his Glasgow School of Art. The large, industrial windows offset this historical influence, giving the building an eclectic sensibility unique to Mackintosh. Photo courtesy Mackintosh Architecture, University of Glasgow.

Few designers straddle stylistic movements as seamlessly as Charles Rennie Mackintosh. His work was truly transitional, emerging at the turn of the twentieth century into an artistic atmosphere shifting from regional arts and crafts movements to Art Nouveau and Jugenstijl, and to the Modernist projects that were just beginning to take root. The architect, designer, artist, and decorator found a middle ground between art and architecture, drawing inspiration from Scottish Free Style, Arts and Crafts, and Art Nouveau and merging them into a distinctly original, protomodernist style that combined his Scottish roots with a search for innovation and ingenuity.

Most often remembered and celebrated for his simple but stylized interiors, Mackintosh’s architectural works have been somewhat overlooked. A new exhibition opening in July at The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow provides a fresh look at his architectural projects, featuring over 80 sketches from The Hunterian and collections across the UK. 

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