Glasgow has a lot to offer the architectural explorer, but venturing beyond the city, Scotland is full of built masterpieces waiting to be discovered.
Head West from Glasgow to reach the handsome town of Helensburgh, the location of an architectural collaboration spanning over 100 years. The Hill House by Charles Rennie Mackintosh was completed in 1904 but due to the intensity of the Scottish weather the building has suffered water ingress and damage to its facade. In 2019 Carmody Groarke completed their intervention, a steel and mesh ‘coat’ for the building, to keep the damp off the building whilst National Trust for Scotland plan the restoration. The structure that has been created not only allows the building to dry out, but with ramps and walkways it allows visitors to experience Mackintosh’s finest domestic building from an entirely new angle. The effect of walking up, round and down the building, warps visitor’s perspective and the exterior shrinks to feel as if one is looking at a child’s doll house.
To the East, Dress for the Weather also offer tours of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital. The focus here is on contemporary architectural interventions amongst the historic Old Town. A particular favourite is the secluded Chapel of St Albert the Great by Simpson Brown Architects completed in 2012. This structure extends from a tenement, used by the chaplaincy of the University of Edinburgh, with a strong connection to its garden context. Incorporating a pared back palette of materials including ashlar sandstone, cor-ten steel and oak battens, the chapel is a haven of peace amongst the bustle of Edinburgh.
Only 2 hours North East of Glasgow and we reach Dundee, once famous for jam and journalism, Dundee has reinvented itself as the city of design. This title was strengthened when Kengo Kuma completed the V&A Dundee in 2018. The first purpose-built design museum in Scotland, Kuma’s building is clad in crushed stone panels, the design of which are influenced by the cliffs of Orkney, that melt into the silvery River Tay. Internally a huge central hall leads visitors up to a permanent collection celebrating the breadth of Scottish design achievements.
With so much to see, why not extend your next visit to Glasgow and explore the Scottish architecture delights with Dress for the Weather.
Text: Dress for the Weather