Architecture in Scotland
When it comes to Scottish architecture, I don't know much beyond my enthusiasm for my homeland and for designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Whenever I'm in Glasgow, which is never enough these days, I make a beeline for Mackintosh's 1895 Glasgow Herald building, which in 1999 was converted into the Lighthouse, Scotland's first dedicated, national centre for architecture and design. Among the many reasons to visit is a new exhibition there called Architecture in Scotland.
The fourth biennial survey of architecture in Scotland looks at eight new buildings in the Highlands and Islands, as well as six from continental Europe. In an age of iconic architects like Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel producing ever more spectacular buildings, the exhibition asks what architecture might stand for in 'a post-industrial, post-fossil-fuel, post-Modern age.'
With global warming and fossil fuel depletion becoming significant cultural realities, a trend they single out is 'architecture relating and responsive to geographical region, and to the physical conditions on the ground'. In other words, buildings that reflect the environments that they live in.
So what does new Scottish architecture look like? Buildings highlighted include Lotte Glob's studio in Durness (top), the Piers Arts Centre in Stromness (second), Taigh Chearsabhagh Arts Studio Extension in Lochmaddy, on the Isle of North Uist (third and last), and Culloden Battlefield Memorial Centre (above).
The exhibition runs until 11 January 2009. Once you've seen it, you can tour all the sites. Sounds like a good excuse for a holiday in Scotland, but I may be biased. RM