Glasgow School of Art (exterior photographs):
Designed by architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and built between 1896-1909. The building is perched on the slope of a hill, three storeys to the front with a basement, and then stepping down with the hill to the rear. Regarded as his finest work, it is the most complete example of his arts and crafts architecture. The building is a constant play of opposites, on the one hand being early modernist with its large rectangular shape, machine hall like windows soaring up the west elevation and playful asymmetrical facade, which in light of the later bauhaus movement seems years ahead of its time. On the other hand the east elevation displays forms reminescent of tower house scottish architecture, and the central entrance part of the front (north) elevation is full of intricate curved forms. Throughout the building there is a also a constant play between light and dark, from the flooding of the north spaces with the desired north light for the bulk of the studios to the darkness of the stairwell with their simple but extraordinary details of cut throughs and echoes of the stairs carried through in the undersides of the stairs. The spaces throughout are innovative, and extraordinary, the attention and use of detail is unparalled, it is a building which is simultaneously governed by a simple design concept and yet is relentless in feeding the viewer with a seemingly endless stream of beautifully employed details, from Mackintosh's reknown art nouveau influenced glasswork, to japanese influenced timber details and sumptously curved forms of stonework.
I was lucky enough to study at the art school and throughout those years one develops a deep affection and appreciation of the building as it always seems to have more to give the viewer, it is truly an extraordinary piece of architecture, both inspiring and humbling, and as a learning tool invaluable, once you can understand this building it informs the understanding of almost any building. The building is category A listed.

street address: 167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G3 6RQ
Latitude / Longitude: 55.866059,-4.263698 (sourced using Google Maps)
site visit dates: 02 May 2011 & 16 June 2011

north-west corner, looking east down the north (front) elevation and south down the short west elevation (02/05/2011)

view from Sauchiehall Street looking north up the hill towards the south-west corner of the building. From here it is possible to get a limited view of the largely obscured roughcast south (rear) elevation (16/06/2011)

ashlar surround window at the west end of the south elevation (02/05/2011)

windows soaring up the west elevation, this elevation has an early modernist feel (02/05/2011)

intricately carved surround to the secondary west end entrance (02/05/2011)

doorway detail (02/05/2011)

view up the west elevation (02/05/2011)

view from an elevated position from the Newberry tower (scheduled demolition of Newberry Tower: summer 2011). The view is looking west along the north (front) elevation. Clearly visible is the basement level, the ground floor low height studios, and the full height first floor studios with mezzanines, and finally the attic floor studio spaces. For all of these spaces the use of north light is the defining factor in their layout and design (16/06/2011)

view looking south, at and above the west end of the building with the city stretching out behind to the south. Note to the right behind the long glazed attic floor the sloped roof scottish baronial house like element with alrge rectangular skylight to the north (16/06/2011)

two window bays on the north elevation, displaying the asymmetrical use of similar window bays (02/05/2011)

rose-like knot details of the decorative ironwork arching up from the bottom of the first floor studio windows (02/05/2011)

stairs sweeping up from Renfrew Street to the main entrance (02/05/2011)

view west along the north elevation from the elevated entranceway. Note the basement floor stepped back from the street (16/06/2011)

main entrance (02/05/2011)

relief carving over the main entrance (02/05/2011)

first floor office windows overlooking the main entrance (02/05/2011)

view of the whole vertical element of the entranceway which sits between the two east and west main elements of the north elevation. Note the turret with ironwork sculpture, and the use of the sloped house-like roof, as echoed at the west end of the attic storey (16/06/2011)

close up of the ironwork and glass sculpture crowning the central entrance element (16/06/2011)

the railing which stretches east and west along the Renfrew Street frontage, with its cluster of tulip like detail, with art nouveau/arts and crafts shield held above (02/05/2011)

north-east corner (02/05/2011)

east elevation (02/05/2011)

like on the west elevation there is an addition of a sweeping L shaped piece, both enabling and celebrating the doorway, the curved uncapped column is an example of added detail, functionally unnecessary, but in terms of form it helps to turn an ordinary element into something far more extraordinary (02/05/2011)

doorway (16/06/2011)

view up the east elevation displaying the variety of windows cut into this elevation (02/05/2011)

the top window forms are echoed inside with th blank windows which cut through the west stairwell, the curved top window design below is similar to that on the west eelavtion of Mackintosh's Ruchill hall (02/05/2011)

window detail (02/05/2011)

curved stone top over the vertical stack of windows to the left of the photograph, this curvature is reminescent to that seen on many of Glasgow's Italianate renaissance styled buildings. Beside this is a tower element topping the elevation and pushing throught the elevation (02/05/2011)

window at the base of the tower element of the east elevation (02/05/2011)

top of the tower with ironwork sculptural detail (02/05/2011)

view south from the top (attic) floor, with window to the right of the photograph (02/05/2011)

south facing glazed element and chimney above

east facing part of the south elevation

drainage detail, note how even with such menial parts of the building Mackintosh's designwork is still present (02/05/2011)

view down east facing element of the south elevation, with skylights over the southern portion of the basement visible below (02/05/2011)

view back up from the east stairwell of the attic floor. The glazed curved end of the 'chicken run' with small open window can be seen (see interior photographs for view from within the 'chicken run' (02/05/2011)

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