Archives » Architecture

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 34: Causewayhead, Stirling

I was over west a bit a few weeks ago and finally stopped at the Causewayhead roundabout near the Wallace Monument to photograph the building below which has a nice stepped roofline. You can spot the monument in the background of the second view.

Causewayhead is in Stirling but I believe the road this stands on is called Airthrey Road.

I think the bloke on the phone at the front of the shops wondered what on Earth I was doing.

There is good horizontal detailing on the side pillaring in this next photo. The windows look replacement.

The best bit of the whole layout is the lovely curved wall – in two dimensions – plus deco pillar at the gate.

There is a good deco feel to the gate too. Note the curving on the rear side of the wall pillar as well as its front.

Leslie, Fife

I’ve posted previously about the sad demolition of Leslie’s Art Deco Cinema.

There are still some thirties-style buildings around, though.

This is the former Co-op. It’s not really bent; this is a stitch of two photos to get it all in.

This is what the two separate photos looked like:-

The marble round the centre door would have looked impressive in its day but it’s a bit tired now.

The former cafe on the corner here has more than a hint of Deco in the rounded element and the detailing above the door.

This isn’t deco but the columns either side of the windows prefigure the style. It’s opposite the Green and is the Old Parish Church Hall:-

Mallaig (Malaig)

There isn’t much to do at Mallaig – or Malaig as the signs have it. (It seems a bit pointless to have the name repeated only without an “l” but bilinguality seems to be important once you get to Crianlarich – or A’ Chrìon Làraich if you prefer.)

Mallaig’s raison d’être was herring fishing. That’s why the railway was run into there in the first place. I can remember the fish trains rumbling past my boyhood home in the wee hours. Now the herring fishing has gone but I believe prawns have taken their place, shipped all over Europe – by lorry.

Mind you I did buy a book. There’s a building directly opposite the station which among other things houses a second hand bookshop. There is a “first hand” bookshop further into the town but it had mostly touristy books.

There were the expected tourist outlets and several cafes and restaurants, some of which doubled up as chippies, plus a Co-op.

We had nearly two hours to kill though.

The Marine Hotel is just across the access road to the station. I leave you to decide if it’s Deco or not:-

We wandered round the coast road a bit. This is a panorama of the harbour from the other side of the bay. (To get to the larger version on my flickr click on the picture):-

Walking back into the village I saw this intriguing building on the harbour entrance. This side is a fishselling business:-

The building is quite big. The other side is/was a cafe and a ship chandler’s. The cafe bit was closed so may be defunct.

Not content with three business premises the side facing the harbour provides shipping services:-

This is a panorama of the other side of the bay from the harbour entrance:-

The harbour mouth:-

You can just see a fisherman’s statue in the above. Beyond where I took the next one was permitted personnel only so I took this long shot:-

That was Mallaig.

Fort William Art Deco

The town is cut off from Loch Linnhe by a dual carriageway. We walked along it the first evening and saw the Imperial Hotel. Lovely curved area with balcony above. Nice stepping on the roof line.

There are other decoish buildings on the High Street.

Could this once have been a Woolworths?:-

The next one looks flat-roofed. Windows have been altered:-

Mountain Warehouse. Minor Deco at best:-

Fort William (An Garasdean)

Our destination was Fort William (or, as the signposts have it, An Garasdean. No prizes for working out it’s Gaelic for garrison.) The first thing I noticed on entering Fort William proper was the rounded extension to the hotel here.

The Bank of Scotland building on the High Street:-

A shop called Aroma – more likely 60s or 70s than deco:-

Rear extension to Edinburgh Woollen Mill, off High Street:-

Glasgow School of Art: Good(ish) News

Thankfully it seems as if the damage to Glasgow School of Art is not as bad as I had feared. (Bad enough, though. The Library has been destroyed.)

However, the fire service says that 90% of the structure has been saved and 70% of the contents.

Many thanks are due to the members of the fire service who – contrary to standard practice – went into the burning building in order to fight the fire more effectively and so prevented more extensive damage.

There is a funding target of £1,000,000 for the restoration.

Glasgow School of Art

I was devastated to hear today of the fire at Charles Rennie Mackintosh‘s masterpiece building, the Glasgow School of Art. (For pictures of the undamaged building see here.)

I have featured another of his buildings, Scotland Street School, here.

I have also visited the House for an Art Lover, built to Mackintosh designs in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park (on part of the site of the Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938,) and Hill House in Helensburgh as well as the Mackintosh House at the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow but all without benefit a modern camera. All are visually stunning.

I must confess to being a teeny bit annoyed when Lorna Gordon, BBC London’s Scotland correspondent, called the Art School an Art Deco building. None of Mackintosh’s buildings are Deco. They are leaning towards it, certainly, but really have more in common with Art Nouveau. At a pinch you could say they act as a bridge between the two styles. While some Mackintosh designs have the blend of horizontal and vertical that is a signifier of Art Deco he also had a strong liking for curves which grew firmly from the Art Nouveau tradition of evoking nature and natural forms.

I assume the plans for the School of Art are still in existence somewhere – and that there is insurance in place. Even if it is costly it is to be hoped that some sort of effort at restoration can be made to the Art School. The result may not be original but so few of Mackintosh’s designs were erected in his lifetime it would be tantamount to a crime to allow to disappear the outstanding example that was.

In the meantime, not just Glasgow, not only Scotland, but the world, is a poorer place to live in tonight.

Imposing Building on Strathmartine Road, Dundee.

The sign on it says Community Library.

Modern Glasgow at Night

Most of the buildings I featured in the two previous Modern Glasgow posts are lit up with coloured lights at night.

This is BBC Scotland from the North bank of the Clyde.

And its entrance on Pacific Quay.

Here’s Glasgow Science Centre (at dusk.)

The Hydro manages to look like a spaceship.

Modern Glasgow 2

The first is engineering rather than architecture. The Clyde Arc – immediately dubbed by local wags the Squinty Bridge as it crosses the River Clyde on a diagonal. Also in the photo is the Finnieston crane – all that remains of the shipyards that once lined the River Clyde here.

Right next to the Glasgow Science Centre (see previous posts) on the south bank of the Clyde is the new BBC Scotland building. It looks externally like a giant shoe box. Internally it’s more interesting as anyone who’s seen television interviews given inside will know.

The entrance is on the west side and is adorned with BBC Alba as well as BBC Scotland. There is a largeish scuptural thingy here too on the right of the photo. (Squinty Bridge in background on left.)

This is how the BBC building looks from the north bank of the Clyde.

Just a touch along the south bank towards the Squinty Bridge lies the premises of STV (Scottish Television) part of the Independent Television network, ITV. This shows the STV logo at the access road (and the Finnieston Crane.)

This is a closer view of the STV building. Another shoe box, though smaller than the BBC Scotland one. The round building to the right was I believe once an entrance to a pedestrian tunnel under the Clyde. (There is a similar rotunda building where it debouched on the north bank which now houses four restaurants.)

free hit counter script