HOUSE FOR AN ART LOVER
WHERE IS IT? In the centre of Bellahouston Park, south-west of the city centre, near Ibrox Stadium and subway station.
The House for an Art Lover was designed by Mackintosh for entry into a German architectural competition run by the publication Zeitschrift für Innendekoration in 1901.
However, it was not until the mid-1980s that Mackintosh's plans were actually brought to life. Glaswegian civil engineer Graham Roxburgh proposed taking the original plans and building the structure in Bellahouston Park.
Construction commenced in 1989, using the materials and techniques that Mackintosh himself would have employed, and was partially completed in 1990, before the economic recession took its tool and halted progress. It remained unfinished until 1994 when the interiors were finished and landscaping began. The House for an Art Lover was finally opened to the public in 1996.
The aforementioned competition was to build ‘a Grand Residence for an Art Lover,’ looking for originality in its design. The entry requirements stated that ‘it is permissible and even desirable that an Architect and a Decorative Artist of modern tastes develop and submit the design jointly.’ Luckily for Mackintosh, he was married to an artist, Margaret MacDonald, whom he worked with on this and many of his other projects, most famously the Willow Tea Rooms. Mackintosh’ entry was at first disqualified after he failed to submit all the material, but this was overturned when he submitted additional interior perspectives. He eventually garnered a prize for ‘their pronounced personal quality, their novel and austere form and the uniform configuration of interior and exterior.’
Jumping forward to the present, the grounds also show a number of works of art, including ‘Foot and Arch’ by Indian sculptor Ganesh Gohain, and the colourful ‘Jelly Moulds’ by firm One Foot Taller, which were part of a competition to redesign the common park bench.
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