Mackintosh, House for an art lover, United Kingdom, 1901

Mackintosh, House for an art lover, United Kingdom, 1901

Mackintosh, House for an art lover, United Kingdom, 1901. (view on google maps)

House for an Art Lover has a fascinating history which defines the pioneering creativity of its designer and his ambition and ingenuity. In 1901 Mackintosh, Glasgow’s most famous architect, entered a competition to design a “Art Lover House”.

In the end, although Mackintosh was lauded for his competition design, his entry was disqualified on the grounds of a technical breach of the rules as he was late in submitting certain interior views of the house.

As with all of Mackintosh’s works, the House is designed to be viewed as a whole. His work incorporated multiple styles and is a compilation of opposites. Inside the house traditional Victorian designs are juxtaposed with modern concepts, and display the blending of masculine and feminine, natural forms with abstract thought, or simple concepts with complex designs. His ability to create an independent design is visible in the structure and layout of the House for an Art Lover.

The small porch opens into the double-height hall with tall windows to the North and a gallery on the south with timber balustrading. Stained glass and a coloured frieze relieve the dark panelling.  On the north side is the dark-panelled dining room with barrel-vaulted ceiling. The panelling here has figurative decoration, and there is a coloured overmantel of botanical forms.

The most important private rooms are the secluded gentleman’s room, the gentleman’s office, and the ladies’ oval withdrawing room with bow window. Mackintosh regularly made use of the oval to represent femininity, and he returned to this form when designing the ladies’ rest room at the Ingram Street Tea Rooms ten years later.



  • Cosgrove, James, ed. House for an Art Lover. Glasgow: Randak Design Consultants (and Fraser Press?): 1988/2004.
  • Crawford, Alan. Charles Rennie Mackintosh. London: Thames & Hudson, 1995.




Alexis Barnabe, Michel Nocture, Gin Joen Yau