Recently, I visited the wonderful city of Glasgow! My first order of business was to find some of Charles Rennie MackIntosh’s work. He was one of the four main members of the Glasgow Style.
Seeing the Willow Tea Rooms in person was fantastic! I got off the train from London and went there directly. It was like sitting in a dream.
This museum/ art gallery/ art space is housed in an old newspaper building – designed by MackIntosh! It’s only a block away from the Willow Tea Rooms (Buchanan St.).
I found it down an alleyway with neon lights declaring ‘exhibition’, ‘shop’ and ‘cafe’ Literally any combination of those words will grab my attention. The cafe and shop were superb (though I am pretty biased as they mostly sold MackIntosh related items).
As a design museum and space they completely embrace modern design and designers. I adored the signs for the toilets (loos/ washrooms/ bathroom/ WC or whatever you call them). See? the symbols bypass all this confusing terminology. WHICH IS WHAT GREAT DESIGN DOES!
This display was interactive and super duper amazing. The whole exhibition was about the northern communities of Scotland. The wooden blocks created a topographic like map of the area. Certain blocks had these tablets which had videos about different community building projects in the north. You had to hold the camera over the plinth to make it work. SO FANTASTIC!
One whole floor was devoted to Big Mack! The displays included models of the buildings he designed and some of his furniture pieces. The display created little rooms to highlight some of his more iconic projects.
They also had a viewing platform (accessible by elevator) and a staircase tower. I chose to go up to the glassed-in platform (I’m rather afraid of heights and looking up the staircase made my stomach drop). The viewing platform had a pianist – so lovely! And truly amazing views.
Pros: Embraced the design, great building, fun collection, great interpretation, friendly staff, great shop, nice cafe, wonderful views
Cons: Slightly hard to find (though they do their best!), loads of floors but many were closed off