A new exhibition at the RIBA draws together the design legacy of architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Mackintosh's hand-drawn designs including 'Artist's House in the country
(Image credit: TBC)

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was an exceptional draughtsman, so for the lovers of architectural drawings, the new 'Mackintosh Architecture' exhibition at the RIBA is just what the doctor ordered. Yet the visual feast promised by the wealth of Mackintosh's beautifully crafted ink drawings is not the only reason to visit this show.

The exhibition, opening today at the institute's Architecture Gallery, is an in-depth look at Mackintosh as an architect, as opposed to a furniture designer. The curators, Pamela Robertson, senior curator and professor of Mackintosh studies at The Hunterian for the Glasgow exhibition and Susan Pugh, RIBA drawings and archives curator, explore several of the Scottish architect's work, focusing on both built and unbuilt work. Mackintosh's portfolio is a 'bridge towards modernism', says Pugh. The story is told through a total of over 60 hand drawings, accompanied by scale models.

The displays include public buildings, multi-family housing projects, as well as several villas - the Glasgow Herald Building, Scotland Street school, The Hill House, Windyhill and the famed Glasgow School of Art are some of the key examples. The latter is of course another key reason to visit the show, and one that makes it a timely one. Mackintosh Architecture - a reworking of an earlier show at the Hunterian in Glasgow - is an appropriate reminder of the Scottish architect's precious legacy, following the Glasgow School of Art's tragic, destructive fire of 2014.

Tracking Mackintosh's career, from his apprenticeships (he started his first architecture one aged 16), to his early years as a young architect at Honeyman Keppie, and through to his evolution into an established architect and designer (and the formation of Honeyman Keppie & Mackintosh); this exhibition is a must-see.

Artist's House in the country' by the mackintosh architect

Another drawing of 'Artist's House in the country' by the architect. Courtesy of The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

(Image credit: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow)

Daily Record is drawn in ink and watercolour

Mackintosh uses a range of diffferent media to express his ideas. 'Daily Record' by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, is drawn in ink and watercolour.Courtesy of The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

(Image credit: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and The Hunterian, University of Glasgow)

Design house for an art lover

Showcasing Mackintosh's notable Art Nouveau influences is 'Design for a house for an art lover', 1901 .Courtesy of RIBA Library

(Image credit: RIBA Library)

A prime example of pattern and repetition being incorporated within his designs

This linear image, 'Design for Scotland Street School' by Mackintosh, is a prime example of pattern and repetition being incorporated within his designs.Courtesy of The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

(Image credit: he Hunterian, University of Glasgow)

cityscape of the Glasgow School of Art

Overlooking the Scottish cityscape behind is the 'Glasgow School of Art'. Courtesy of RIBA Library 

(Image credit: Eric De Mare, RIBA Library Photographs Collection )

Mackintosh architecture of 'Windy Hill'

An additional drawing in ink of the perspective view of 'Windy Hill' by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1900. Courtesy of Glasgow School of Art

(Image credit: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Glasgow School of Art)


Architecture Gallery, RIBA
66 Portland Place
London W1B 1AD


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).