Thursday, July 05, 2007

Holiday 2007 - House for an Art Lover

In 1901, Glasgow’s most famous architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh entered a competition to design a ‘House for an Art Lover’. The competition was set by a German design magazine which sought entries to design ‘a grand house in a thoroughly modern style’, and challenged architects to develop ideas which were fresh and innovative. Mackintosh worked on his submission together with his wife, Margaret Macdonald. For the first time, Mackintosh and Macdonald were allowed complete freedom of artistic expression, their designs not conforming to client specification and demand.
Whilst the Mackintoshs’ entry was disqualified from the competition on the grounds of late submission, the designs were awarded a special prize for “their pronounced personal quality, their novel and austere form and the uniform configuration of interior and exterior.”

Charles Rennie Mackintosh's competition entry has been admired by scholars and Mackintosh enthusiasts alike over the last century. The urging of consulting engineer, Graham Roxburgh, led to the idea of building the House in the late eighties. His dream to build the House for an Art Lover became a reality in 1989 when building work began. However, recession in the early Nineties forced the project to be temporarily halted. Building work resumed in 1994, revived by a collaboration between Glasgow City Council and the Glasgow School of Art. Over one hundred years after the designs were first created, the House now stands completed in Bellahouston Park.