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Competition: The Big Mack Build

Willow Tea Rooms
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The Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA) has announced an open ideas contest for a pop-up installation to mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

The competition is open to UK-based students, architects, designers and artists under the age of 30, and seeks innovative proposals for a temporary cardboard structure which will be erected inside the billiard room at the Willow Tea Rooms during the annual Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival in September.

The call for ideas aims to enhance the architectural quality of the Mackintosh-designed Grade A-listed 1903 café, due to reopen later this month following a £10 million overhaul by Simpson + Brown, restoring it to its original condition and creating a visitor centre next door.

The contest launch comes as the Glasgow School of Art confirmed it plans to rebuild the nearby Mackintosh building after it was wrecked by fire.

In its brief, the GIA says the installation ‘will inhabit and enhance the architectural quality of the Mackintosh-designed interior and complement the space.

‘The winning entry will be taken forward and developed for construction during the Glasgow Doors Open Day festival and will form part of the official Mackintosh 150 programme of celebrations celebrating the architects work. The installation will be accessible for viewing by the public during the Glasgow Doors Open Day weekend, and entrants are asked to consider how the general public will interact with and experience their installation.’

The Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street is considered one of Mackintosh’s finest public interiors. The 1903 landmark building was designed for ‘art tearooms’ entrepreneur Catherine Cranston, and became part of a department store during the 1920s before being partially restored as a café in the early 1980s.

Competition proposals must be self-supporting and may use up to 200 single-walled cardboard boxes.

Judges include GIA president Isabel Garriga, Stuart Robinson of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society, Lesley Hepburn from Glasgow Life, and Mackintosh at the Willow chief executive Marcus Kenyon.

The overall winner, to be announced on 17 August, will receive £1,000 and see their scheme constructed for the Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival. There will also be a second prize of £250 and third prize of £100.

The deadline for applications is 10 August.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Email: education@gia.org.uk

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