Mackintosh Exhibition Taking Place At Royal Institute of British Architects

The Royal Institute of British Architects is putting on an exhibition that is devoted to the architectural design and style of Scottish architect, artist and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The exhibition opens on February 18th and will run until May 23rd. Admission is free.

The work of Charles Mackintosh is celebrated worldwide and he is arguably one of the leading commercial architects for the late 19th and early 20th century. In fact, some would say that his popularity has been detrimental to his reputation. From tea towels to tapestries, his trademark motifs can be found everywhere, whilst his name alludes to slatted high-back chairs and swirling stained-glass roses.

Mackintosh’s raw talent

You would be forgiven for expecting the exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects to simply be a regurgitation of everything we already associate with the famous architect. But that’s not the case. In fact, you’ll get to witness Mackintosh’s raw talent, with the three-room exhibition displaying original drawings of his buildings alone. It is the first substantial exhibition that is devoted to his architecture. It features more than 60 original drawings and watercolours, as well as portraits, films and models.

The diversity of drawings plays testament to the architect’s natural talent. His entry for the 1901 Liverpool Cathedral Competition is perhaps the greatest example of this. The committee’s request was for Gothic, and Mackintosh took this brief and come up with a magnificent creation, which features richly sculpted battlements and windows draped with intertwining art nouveau tracery.

You even get to see Mackintosh’s design for his ideal house. The house was never built, but the drawing provides an intriguing look into what Mackintosh and Macdonald may have been envisioning their home to look like. The design features huge chimneys emerging from lines of cubic volumes. The steeply angled walls and curved profiles are reminiscent of North African mud buildings.

Aside from this, other notable drawings include his original design for the Glasgow School of Art, The Hill House, Scotland Street School and the Glasgow Herald Building. From specialist architects to those with a slight interest in this field, it’s well worth a visit.