You don’t have to love art to appreciate this stunning building nestled in the heart of a park in Glasgow.

The House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park was completed in 1996, but the idea came from designs drawn almost 100 years prior.

Legendary architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret drafted plans for an Art Nouveau-style house back in 1901.

Glasgow Times: Margaret and Charles Rennie MackintoshMargaret and Charles Rennie Mackintosh (Image: Newsquest)

The couple entered the design into a competition by a German design magazine which asked participants to design what they thought an ‘art lover’s house’ looked like.

The Mackintoshes were actually disqualified from the contest due to submitting their entry late with incomplete sketches, but the judges were still impressed by aspects of the design including the use of colour and ‘absolutely original character’.

So how did some unfinished sketches of a house that were entered in a German magazine competition in 1901 result in one of the most iconic Mackintosh institutes standing in Bellahouston Park?

Glasgow Times:

The idea came from Graham Roxburgh, a civil engineer who had carried out some restoration work on Mackintosh’s interiors in the nearby Craigie Hall and who wanted to transform the 'Art Lover's House' from a scribble on a piece of paper to a real place.

Multiple contemporary artists worked together to develop Mackintosh’s original designs and the construction of House for an Art Lover began in 1989.

READ MORE: Visits from the Pope, Eminem and more - the story behind Bellahouston Park

The project was temporarily halted in the 1990s due to the recession, but the council paired up with the Glasgow School of Art to carry on with building the interior rooms.

House for an Art Lover opened to the public in 1996, with Mackintosh’s original sketches and some early designs of the layout displayed in the building to show visitors how the team constructed it.

Some in the arts community believe it should be emphasised that the House is not an authentic Mackintosh design, as other artists were involved in the process and ‘filled in the gaps’, but the blueprints created to build the house were directly inspired by Mackintosh’s drawings.

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The House also deliberately emulates Mackintosh’s style, mixing traditional Victorian-era styles with more modern influences.

The team of designers were also gifted with a catalogue of Mackintosh’s styles on their doorstep - as Glasgow is full of his designs, from the Willow Tea Rooms to the Art School, they did not have to look far to seek inspiration from his other creations.

Glasgow Times: The House is a popular wedding venueThe House is a popular wedding venue (Image: Newsquest)

While Mackintosh and his wife drew House for an Art Lover as a residential home, that that never the plan when it was being built, and the current House was built with a vision to use it as an arts and events centre.

Today it is mainly used for corporate events, art exhibitions and weddings as well as a point of interest for visitors to the park. More recently the House had a cameo role in the hit BBC drama Mayflies.

Glasgow Times: Mayflies filming at Bellahouston Park, 2022. Gordon TerrisMayflies filming at Bellahouston Park, 2022. Gordon Terris (Image: Gordon Terris)

It serves as the venue for the wedding of Tully and Anna, which has been planned in haste as it emerges that Tully does not have long to live.

Our photographer Gordon Terris spotted the series stars Martin Compston and Tony Curran outside the House last year.