Exhibition space that plays host to works from a diverse range of disciplines. Be sure to scale Mackintosh Tower for a beautiful panoramic view over the city
A tall, narrow, elegant amalgam of old stone and new steel and glass on Mitchell Lane just off of Buchanan Street, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture is gradually putting a chequered history behind it. Housed in the former offices of newspaper the Glasgow Herald – the first public commission completed by celebrated local architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh back in 1895, which had stood empty for many years after the Herald’s departure – it opened in 1999 as part of Glasgow’s year as UK City of Architecture and Design. Ten years later, in 2009, The Lighthouse went into administration and temporarily closed, after failing to resolve long standing budget problems.
But with support from Glasgow City Council and an extensive restructuring of its business model to include more commercial office and shop space, it’s on a good footing again, and its future looks much brighter. The Lighthouse’s stated intention is to be ‘a beacon for the creative industries in Scotland’. Recent exhibitions have included a look at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Athletes Village, a study of rare and unseen aerial footage of twentieth century factories, shipyards, mills and ironworks titled ‘Britain From Above: Scotland’s Industrial Might’, and the 2013 Glasgow School of Art Graduate Degree Show. The permanent Mackintosh Interpretation Centre, or ‘Mack’ Centre, celebrates the life and work of one of Glasgow’s most famous sons.
The Lighthouse is perhaps best-known among ordinary Glaswegians for its panoramic views over Glasgow’s cityscape, from two different locations. The Mackintosh Tower, at the north of the building, is accessible via a helical staircase from the third floor. If the climb sounds a bit much, and it isn’t for the unfit, the modern viewing platform on the sixth floor at the south of the building is accessible via lift.
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11 Mitchell Lane
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