ÅBEN’s designer-in-residence 2019 has a spot soft for one lesser-known piece of Glaswegian architecture
My first encounter with the old Daily Record Building in Renfield Lane was back in 2009. I’d moved from Inverness to Glasgow and I used to visit Stereo, the restaurant on the ground floor, every Monday for the vegetarian tapas night, if I remember correctly.
The idea that this kind of space could be tucked into what felt like a forgotten corner in the centre of Glasgow seemed very exciting – it had a ‘big city’ feeling to it. There was also something very odd about the building that I couldn’t put my finger on, which appealed to me. Over time it became one of my favourite places, and the more I went there, the more I noticed its glazed brick façade and sandstone details. It made perfect sense when I later discovered it was one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s lesser-known projects.
This is a building that doesn’t give itself away easily. The fact that you can’t even see the whole façade face on only adds to its mysterious appearance. There are so many fascinating details to this building that I would love to see up close but can’t. That just adds to its romantic appeal.
It proves that even if you don’t know it’s by Mackintosh, even though you can’t view it properly, and even though it has a pretty rough appearance, great design still shines through.