Glasgow School of Art
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167 Renfrew St · interesting places nearby
Glasgow School of Art information
Charles Rennie Mackintosh's greatest building – extensively damaged by fire in 2014, so access may be limited by renovation works – still fulfils its original function, so just follow the steady stream of eclectically dressed students up the hill to find it. It's one of Glasgow's architectural showpieces and has now been joined by Steven Holl's spectacular glacial, green School of Design (the Reid Building) right opposite. A risqué combination, but it works.
Visits are by excellent hour-long guided tours (roughly hourly in summer; 11am, 1pm and 3pm in winter, multilingual translations available) run by architecture students. These leave from the new building; book online or by phone at busy times.
Particularly impressive is the thoroughness of the design; the architect's pencil seems to have shaped everything inside and outside the building. The interior is strikingly austere, with simple colour combinations (often just black and cream) and the uncomfortable-looking high-backed chairs for which Mackintosh is famous. The library, designed as an addition in 1907, is a masterpiece.
There's a Mackintosh shop at the end of the tour. If you liked the visit, the same folk run recommended architecturally-minded walking tours of central Glasgow: see the website for details.