Listen to Glasgow Herald Building now The Lighthouse:
Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s first Glasgow building
Look up. The towering corner building which can be seen all the way down West Nile Street is the former Glasgow Herald, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s first big public commission in the city.
The Lighthouse, now Scotland’s centre for Architecture, Design and the City, was designed by Mackintosh in 1895 when he was an assistant draughtsman in the architectural firm of Honeyman and Keppie.
The top of the tower, which Niall describes as a massive piece of sculpture, was designed by Mackintosh to house an 8,000 gallon water tank which fed the sprinkler system – an essential part of the printing room in the days when the presses regularly caught fire.
Note the ‘seed’ motif which grows upwards into the ‘tree of knowledge’, flowering at the top of the building. This motif was incorporated into the Lighthouse extension in 1999 by David Page the architect at Page and Park who also designed the Theatre Royal extension, linking two dramatic Glasgow corner buildings across time and space.