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Mac graduate wins Mackintosh at the Willow pop-up contest

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Mackintosh School of Architecture graduate Alistair Reid has won a competition for a pop-up installation to mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

The architect – who works at Anderson Bell & Christie and previously won the 2015 3DReid Student Prize – has been named overall winner of the contest organised by the Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA).

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

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

Reid will receive a £1,000 prize and see his scheme – dubbed Paper Prospects – temporarily erected inside the billiard room from 14 to 16 September. Second place was meanwhile awarded to Ross Cameron and Titas Grikevicius and third place to Dan Brown.

The contest was launched in July in the same week the Glasgow School of Art confirmed its plan to rebuild the nearby Mackintosh building after it was wrecked by fire.

Commenting on Reid’s win, Glasgow Institute of Architects president Isabel Garriga said: This is a very special year for the GIA, It has been 150 years since we were established but it is also 150 years since Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born.

‘After all the bad news this year, it is always exciting to see how Mackintosh can still inspire a whole new generation. This is highlighted by the quality of all the competition entries, all of them truly fantastic and in particular the winner and the 2 shortlisted entries.

‘I cannot wait to see Alastair Reid’s Paper Prospects cardboard extravaganza at Mackintosh at the Willow in mid-September.’

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 had to be self-supporting and could use up to 200 single-walled cardboard boxes.

Judged included Garriga, Stuart Robertson of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society, Lesley Hepburn from Glasgow Life, and Mackintosh at the Willow chief executive Marcus Kenyon.

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