Iron, glass, Mackintosh

Glasgow School of Art (xxx)

Glasgow School of Art (

From an untitled 1892 lecture by Charles Rennie Mackintosh:

007-charles-rennie-mackintosh-theredlistThese two comparatively modern materials iron & glass though eminently suitable for many purposes will never worthily take the place of stone, because of this defect the want of mass. With the advent of the Crystal Palace and the many rosetinted hallucinations of that period arose the belief in the intervention of a new style. At last common sence it was shouted prevails – no more connection with the works of the past – no more deference to the ideas of artists poets, or even the principals of beauty in Nature: for now we can pile up the hugest buildings with the least possible means of support, and that on most economical principals as design can be turned out of the foundry by repetition without limit, to the minimising of intellectual labor and so also to the payment of it. But time has passed and practical experience has shown that apart altogether from any defect in stability or actual comfort the want of appearance of stability is fatal to the introduction of such a style for either domestic, civil or ecclisiastical buildings. [spellings and punctuation as written]

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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