Friday, 28 August 2015

A new architectural hero!

We went to Glasgow on Monday.  There was an exhibition at The Lighthouse of work by Australia's most celebrated architect, Glen Murcutt.  It had the inviting title 'Touch the Earth Lightly'.  

The Lighthouse was designed as a warehouse, in 1895, by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.  It was built behind the offices of the Glasgow Herald.  http://www.thelighthouse.co.uk/about/history
Since 1999 it has housed Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture, offering great exhibition space.
 Having travelled through from East Lothian, the first thing we looked for were the loos!
Mackintosh designed this water tower, which housed an 8,000 gallon water tank.  There are some lovely internal spaces in the building, which has woven in the new with the existing really well.
This is part of a glass balustrade, designed by Alexander Beleschenko.  He uses the gingko leaf in his design, which is blue on one side, and white on the other.
The Murcutt exhibition was held on the second floor.  The best part of the exhibit, for me, was the video which featured the very softly spoken Glen Murcutt, talking about his work, his influences, and most interestingly, how he keeps drawing until the design emerges from the page.  I very much enjoyed his philosophy and his sensitivity to the environment, the customs of the Aboriginal people, who he has designed for, and the materials he uses.  He came across as a very delightful man, thoughtful and mindful in his approach to new projects.
Here's a lovely little bit of information.  In Aboriginal culture, parents should sleep facing towards the setting sun, and children should sleep towards the rising sun.  That makes sense to me!
We also looked at the permanent exhibition dedicated to the many talents of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.  He didn't just design buildings.  He designed furniture, interiors, and was also a fine water colourist.  His most famous building is probably the Glasgow School of Art, which was so badly damaged by fire in 2014.  My favourite aspect of his work, however, are his water colours of flowers.  They are stylised but accurate.
Out on to the streets of Glasgow again, and we met a panda,
the Duke of Wellington, looking very dapper with a traffic cone on his head
 a couple of red squirrels,
and a relation of Morris, our blue tit,
After a cup of coffee and a very yummy piece of rocky road, we walked back to Queen Street station, passed some extremely fine old buildings.  I do like Glasgow.  Perhaps its because my father and grandparents were Glaswegian.  By the time we got back to the wood, I felt as though I had visited another world.  I had certainly discovered a new architectural hero.  Glen Murcutt.  What a very nice, and talented, man.










There is a permanent exhibition, showing the talents of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

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