Adding to the growing worldwide trend of building works by famous architects long after their deaths, Glasgow has a relatively recently-built version of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s “House for an Art Lover.” Designed in 1901, and built between 1989 and 1996, the project was originally designed for a German ideas competition but was disqualified for being submitted late.
With many of the interiors built from perspective sketches done by Mackintosh, the building presents an opportunity to experience a famous historical building that never existed (until now). What I found most interesting about the project was its context. While it is set in a lush park, the most obvious feature of the site is the artificial ski hill across the parking area.
Snowboarding on fake plastic “snow” at the side of a damp car park within the city limits of Glasgow is no more strange than touring a building constructed from competition sketches 60 years after the architect’s death. Both experiences require a similar suspension of disbelief and a willingness to admit that authenticity is not necessarily important if one accepts the limitations of the simulation.