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  • Writer's pictureKen Haskin

Mac Attack!- 250th birthday of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

THE 250th BIRTHDAY OF CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH! I love that man---and his wife.

Mac was what I aspired to be an architect-- unique in all facets. (a friend called me Kenny Rennie Mackintosh in architecture school) He had his own style from the drawings, lettering, and the door knobs to the whole building--and it all was filled with love. He and his wife, Margaret MacDoanld MackIntosh, collaborated on their furniture and ornament--leaving secret messages of love to each other in their building's designs.

The Glasgow School of Art has to be seen in person because the detailing is exquisite but, tragically, there was a fire a few years back and it is currently being restored.

One can still see Hill House, the Willow Tea room, and other buildings in Glasgow.

The couple reveled in nature, which is easy to see, and embraced natural order by allowing what many architects would consider imperfections into the work. An example is the Iron window treatments on the main facade of the School of Art. They are all very similar but the groupings are slightly different like the leaves on a tree. Self similar but not self same is a concept would become popularized and embraced 90 years later when Fractals were introduced to the mainstream public.

Though there were several organic architects in Mac's time like Frank Lloyd Wright (America), Victor Horta (Belgium), and Antoni Gaudi (Spain) I always like the balance of Mackintosh's work. Wright was geometric and abstract while Horta's work was like an overgrowing garden encroaching on a structure. ( No pics, sorry) Gaudi, though he was great, was of course the origin of the word gaudy.

Too much to say in such a short space for two wonderful artists who lived their life through their work and love for each other. Happy 250.

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