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"The Lighthouse", Charles Mackintosh's Glasgow Herald building

The Lighthouse in Glasgow, is Scotland's Centre for Architecture, Design and the City. It was opened as part of Glasgow's status as UK City of Architecture and Design in 1999.

The Lighthouse is the renamed, conversion of the former offices of the "Glasgow Herald" newspaper. Completed in 1895, it was designed by the architectural firm Honeyman & Keppie, of which Charles Rennie Mackintosh was an apprentice.[1] The centre's vision is to develop the links between design, architecture, and the creative industries, seeing these as interconnected social, educational, economic and cultural issues of concern to everyone.


The Lighthouse today

After financial mismanagement the Lighthouse went into Administration in August 2009. On 12 November the Lighthouse as a trust ceased to be. Of the remaining staff 10 were transferred to another floor within the Lighthouse. By renaming the Lighthouse Trust as Architecture + Design Scotland those responsible for the job losses were able to stay on and the Lighthouse was under no legal obligation for it's financial debts to former members of staff (back pay, redundancy, holiday pay etc) these debts eventually being met by the taxpayer. Rumours of a deal between the Directors, PWC,GSC and the Scottish Government to wind down the business deliberately so as to gain control and pass on costs to UK taxpayers have yet to be proven. Pre Nick Barley around 90 staff in its heyday to redundancies in November 2008 then again in August 2009 under the leadership of Barley and Sallyann Low (now at A+DS), Ms Low is married to a businessman who happens to be administrator of businesses. It is a sad loss to the City of Glasgow, Scotland and the Architectural world stage. The Ex Director Nick Barley made himself redundant after meetings with PriceWaterhouseCooper then made redundant most of the long serving remaining staff in August, two months later he became Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. His wife Fiona Bradley is also connected to the Edinburgh Art Scene. A Facebook campaign was started in September 2009 by members of the public and professionals dissatisfied with his appointment to the EIBF after Barley declared he had organized a literary body while Director of the Lighthouse, this later turned out to be an 'untruth'

Views of Glasgow

One of the stunning features of The Lighthouse is the uninterrupted view over Glasgow's cityscape from the Mackintosh Tower at the north of the building, which is accessible via a helical staircase from the third floor.

There is also another modern viewing platform at the south of the building, which forms the buildings sixth floor and is only accessible via lift.

View of the Spiral stairs leading up to the viewing platform at the top of the Lighthouse

City of architecture and design

In 1999, the Clydesdale Bank issued a £20 note to mark Glasgow's celebrations as UK City of Architecture and Design which featured an illustration of the Lighthouse building and the dome of Thomson's Holmwood House on the reverse. The obverse side carried a portrait of Glaswegian architect Alexander "Greek" Thomson.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "Building information" leaflet from the Lighthouse
  2. ^ "Banknote Design Features : Clydesdale Bank". The Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 

External links

Coordinates: 55°51′35″N 4°15′20″W / 55.8597°N 4.2555°W / 55.8597; -4.2555



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