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Although he remained largely unrecognised by his native city during his litetime, Charles Rennie Mackintosh is currently big business in Glasgow. it is only in the past tew years that the city became tully aware ot his international acclaim and the result is that his distinctive ‘art nouveau' style is now very much a marketable commodity within the lramework ol the ‘Miles Better' campaign.
This realisation has led to a sort oi Mackintosh mania. Almost everywhere one cares to look in the city nowadays, there are signs written in his distinctive style and recreations at his work. A case in point is Newbery’s, the restaurant oi the returbished Kelvin Park Lorne Hotel, which is named alter one oi Charles Bonnie’s mentors and taithiully designed and decorated in the style at the master. Even Glasgow School at Art has tinalty decided that his most lamous work should be highlighted. To this end, they are currently running a competition with a view to linding the best possible way to improve the area surrounding the Rennie Mackintosh building.
The newest and most welcome addition to take advantage at Rennie Mackintosh’s tame, is that well-known local eye-sore, the Sauchiehall Street Centre. When Arnotts - who currently occupy a large part at the centre - announced that they were pulling out due to an intolerable rates burden, it was decided that a major redevelopment was called lor. Under the £8 million scheme, a lurther twelve shops are being added, along with a last-loud area which will provide seating lor some 360 people; somewhat along the lines oi the Waverley Market in Edinburgh. Liverpool architects, Bradshaw Rowse and Harper plan to employ several Rennie Mackintosh touches throughout the centre, including the extensive use at a willow tree motit. The reason lor this being that Sauchiehall was Gaelic tor ‘willow tree meadow'.
The project is due tor completion by March 1987. This is subiect to tormal planning permission being granted by the city council next month.
The List 18—31 October 47