Restoring Glasgow’s Tea Rooms to Their Art Nouveau Glory

Geometric shapes made the tea rooms ahead of their time.

TWO THINGS SEPARATED ART NOUVEAU pioneer Charles Rennie Mackintosh from other Scottish artists, wrote fellow architect Hermann Muthesius in 1905. One, he was the best Scottish artist of them all. Two, “[most] Scottish artists, if they are wise, early leave their homeland to seek fortune in London.” But Mackintosh had stayed and made Glasgow “one of the most beautiful cities in the world.” He earned that high praise by designing the Glasgow School of Art, the Hill House home, and, perhaps more importantly, several of Glasgow’s famed tea rooms, one of which is now being fully restored and reopened.

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