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Blog / 24 Facts about Mackintosh you may not know

24 Facts about Mackintosh you may not know 02 Jun 2016

We love Charles Rennie Mackintosh here at The Lighthouse! Mackintosh would be turning 148 next week if he was still alive. To celebrate his birthday we’ve created this blog with 24 interesting facts about his incredible work and life:

1. Mackintosh was born on 7th June 1868 in Glasgow

2. Mackintosh designed the tower here at The Lighthouse in 1893 while working as a junior draughtsman in the architectural practice of Honeyman and Keppie, it was completed in 1895.

Lighthouse by ©

3. Despite designing the building, his role could not be publicly acknowledged because he was not a partner:

Letter from Mackintosh to Hermann Muthesius, 11 May 1898 © Werkbundarchiv, Museum der Dinge, Berlin

"Although the building in Mitchell Street here was designed by me the Architects are or were Messrs Honeyman & Keppie – who employ me as assistant. So if you reproduce any photographs of the building you must give the architects' name – not mine. You will see that this is very unfortunate for me, but I hope when brighter days come I shall be able to work for myself entirely and claim my work as mine."

4. The Lighthouse was the first public commission completed by Mackintosh. The building originally housed the Glasgow Herald and Mackintosh designed the tower to hold an 8,000 gallon water tank to protect the building against fire

5. Mackintosh’s name is actually spelt McIntosh on his birth certificate but was misspelt in the 1890s & the error stuck.

6. Mackintosh rejected traditional green & red tartan, substituting his own stark black & white check - Toshie's Tartan.

7. The only house in England designed by Mackintosh is 78 Derngate

78 Derngate, Northampton: design for the entrance door c.1916 © The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow 2016

8. Mackintosh furniture has appeared in a number of Movies including Inception (2010)

9. Mackintosh was suspected of being a German spy during  WWI source:

10.In 1896, Mackintosh won the competition to design the Glasgow School of Art. The first phase of the building commenced in 1897 and the second phase was completed in 1909. 

Source: The List

11. RIBA recognised Glasgow School of Art as the finest building designed by a British architect in the last 175 years

12. 200 fire fighters battled on the night of Friday 23 May 2014 to contain the blaze at Glasgow School of Art. The building is currently being restored to Mackintosh designs

13. Mackintosh only designed one church throughout his career, the Mackintosh Church at Queen's Cross

14. The Willow Tea room was the only building where Mackintosh had complete control over every aspect of the design

15. Design plans for House for an Art Lover were created by Mackintosh in 1901 but not built until 1988 by Glasgow City Council

Mackintosh's House for an Art Lover South elevation drawing - Building the Dream - Graham Roxburgh 2006

16. Mackintosh was considered 'Gaudi of Glasgow' comparing his popularity & talent to architect Antoni Gaudi of Barcelona

17. Charles Rennie Mackintosh was featured on £20 Clydesdale Bank note in 1999

18. Barbra Streisand designed some of her home based on the Mackintosh style

Source: The Home Look Blogspot

19. The largest collection of Mackintosh work is at the Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow and it houses one of the most important collections of the work of  Mackintosh - The Mackintosh House, which is a meticulous reassemblage of the principal interiors from the Mackintoshes’ Glasgow home

Source: University of Glasgow, The Hunterian

20. Scotland Street School Museum (1903-1906) was one of Mackintosh's last commissions in Glasgow

21. The Willow Tea Rooms name derived from Sauchiehall, which in Scottish Gaelic means alley of the willows

22. Mackintosh's designs were more appreciated in Austria & Germany than in the UK while he was still alive

23. Stereo, one of Glasgow's cool live music bars is housed in a Mackintosh Building 

24. Mackintosh died in London on 10th December, 1928 from throat & mouth cancer.

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