Way back at the beginning of June, the Dafter and I met some friends at Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s House for an Art Lover. It was the very first outing that the Dafter made without the wheelchair, and that is my keenest memory of it. I spent a lot of the time on the lookout for signs of collapse, and for places where she could sit down on very short notice!
This house is very interesting to me. Not only because I like Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s design aesthetic, but because it was built long after his lifetime. The house was designed by Mackintosh, with interiors designed by his wife Margaret MacDonald, for a Viennese competition in 1900. The design was never realised, until in 1989 a group of determined individuals decided to build the house. I think it took them nearly a decade to do so. You can read more about it on the House for an Art Lover website.
The house is situated in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park. Downstairs there is a spacious Music Room with French doors onto the veranda:
And a most extraordinary piano:
I’m not altogether keen on the piano, I have to say! It looks a bit scary to me.
Throughout the house, as with so many of Mackintosh’s designs, you will see what is known as “the Glasgow Rose”:
Creating the house involved the work of many talented contemporary craftspeople and artisans, as you can see:
The Dafter did so well that day. She found a lovely place to sit and rest:
We went for a coffee and snack in the cafe, which at that point was an accomplishment because she was still acutely sensitive to noise, and any crashing cutlery would startle the life out of her. But then she had the strength to go see the gardens:
The gardens were being readied for their summer show, with the beds in the centre awaiting planting. The beds around the sides had some beautiful mature plants in them, but I don’t have a good photo to show you. I found the topiary very amusing!
There was a wee room built into the perimeter wall of the garden, with a fireplace and a door to the outside of the garden. I think this must have been a place for the gardeners to warm up on chilly days. I really liked the iron grate covering the window. A fantastically creative take on the need for security! The fronds in the centre are framed by the names of Scottish wildflowers:
It was a memorable day, and a beautiful place. I must go back! If you like Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald’s work, I’ve written posts about The Willow Tea Rooms on Buchanan Street, the Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street and almost exactly four years ago now, a post that includes a couple of photos from our visit to The Hill House in Helensburgh.
I hope you’re all having a good week. It’s officially autumn now!