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Glasgow Lighthouse AJ 12/19.8.99

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Page & Park's imaginative transformation of Mackintosh's Herald building has given Glasgow a rich and vibrant centre for architecture and design

Photographs by David Churchill

The launch of the Glasgow Lighthouse, Scotland's centre for architecture, design and the city, is a major event. Taking its cue from Paris, Chicago and Barcelona, Glasgow has bravely created a place where architecture and design, past, present and future, can be shown, promoted, and debated in the context of the local, national and international scene. By making use of a long-disused, but highly adaptable, industrial building, with scope for extension, Glasgow has created a real centre in the commercial heart of the city, a far remove from the cold and uninvolving spaces of the riba. The opening of the Lighthouse should silence the cynics who predicted that the Year of Architecture 1999 would be a flash in the pan, with no lasting benefits.

The refurbishment of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Glasgow Herald building (built in 1893-95 when Mackintosh was working for Honeyman & Keppie) was one of the stated aims of Glasgow's 1999 bid. The building had been commissioned as an extension to the Herald's existing premises, which fronted on to the prestigious Buchanan Street. One of the prime objectives behind the development was the creation of a clear route for the newspaper's delivery vehicles between Mitchell Street and Mitchell Lane.

In other respects, the building was to be a routine warehouse ...

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