An homage to Glasgow architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh – designed by him and his wife – this delightful building has ornate interiors and beautiful gardens
House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park brings together two familiar themes in Glasgow attractions – lush, green public spaces and the architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
However, like Mackintosh House at Glasgow University’s Hunterian Museum, this place isn’t a Mackintosh original. Constructed in 1989-96, it’s a modern homage to one of the city’s most famous sons, based on a 1901 design by Mackintosh and his artist wife Margaret MacDonald. It was local civil engineer Graham Roxburgh who had the vision to complete this project, which had begun nearly a century earlier when Mackintosh entered (unsuccessfully, due to a disqualification on technical grounds) a competition run by a German Magazine, challenging architects to design a ‘grand house in a thoroughly modern style’.
Since opening in 1996, House for an Art Lover – as the German competition’s title Haus eines Kunstfreundes translates – has been much-loved, both as a visitor attraction and as a venue for exhibitions and events, both public and private (functions and weddings are common).
There’s much to enjoy, too. Take a stroll around the walled garden, where you can admire the house’s remarkable exterior with its beautifully irregular features that blend both old and modern ideas and masculine and feminine forms. Or explore inside, where you’ll find ornate bedrooms and music rooms, grand halls, and sweeping staircases. When you get hungry, head to the Art Lovers Café – a well-regarded spot that serves coffee and full meals. All told, it’s a work of Glasgow architecture so impressive you may find it hard to believe it’s not a Mackintosh.
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10 Dumbreck Road