Charles Rennie Mackintosh
The Hotel has two themes running through it. The first is
that of the design features of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and
the other is that of the old Kentallen Railway station.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born in Glasgow on 7th
June 1868,and trained as an architect. He studied art and
design at evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art.
At art school, Mackintosh and his friend and colleague Herbert
MacNair met the artist sisters Margaret and Frances Macdonald.
These four artists collaborated on designs for fumiture, metalwork
and illustration, developing a distinctive imagery of weird,
abstracted female figures and metamorphic lines reminiscent
of Aubrey Beardsley. Their style earned them the nickname
of the 'Spook School' and their work, particularly in England,
was treated with suspicion because of its decadent influence
of Continental art nouveau.
The majority of Mackintosh's work was created, with the help
of a small number of patrons, within a short period of intense
activity between 1896 and 1910. Francis Newbery helped Mackintosh
to secure the prestigious commission to design the new Glasgow
School of Art (now known as the Mackintosh Building); for
Miss Kate Cranston he designed a series of Glasgow tea room
interiors and the businesmen William Davidson and Walter Blackie
commissioned large private houses, 'Windyhill' in Kilmacolm
and 'The Hill House' in Helensburgh.
In Europe, the originality of Mackintosh's style was quickly
appreciated and in Germany and Austria he received the acclaim
that he was never truly to gain at home. In 1900, the Mackintoshes
were feted in Vienna as a result of their contribution to
the 8th Vienna Secession; this led to friendships with designers
such as Josef Hoffmann and the commission to design the Wamdorfer
Music Salon. In 1902, the Mackintosh Room at the Turin Intemational
Exhibition was also enthusiastically received and he went
on to exhibit in Moscow and Berlin.
Despite this success, and with his undoubted influence abroad,
Mackintosh's work met with considerable indifference at home
and his career in Glasgow declined. Few private clients were
sufficiently sympathetic to want his 'total design' of house
and interior and he was incapable of compromise.
By 1914 Mackintosh had despaired of ever receiving recognition
in Glasgow and both he and Margaret moved to Walberswick on
the Suffolk coastline where he painted many fine flower studies
in water-colour. In 1915 they settled in London and for the
next few years, Mackintosh attempted to resume practice as
an architect and designer. The designs he produced at this
time, for textiles, for the 'Dug-Out' Tea Room in Glasgow
and the dramatic interiors for Bassett-Lowke's house in Northampton
show him working in a bold new style of decoration, using
primary colours and geometric motifs. It was an output of
extraordinary vitality and originality which went virtually
unheeded in England.
In 1923, the Mackintoshes left London for the South of France
where Mackintosh finally gave up all thought of architecture
and devoted himself entirely to painting landscapes. He died
in London, of cancer, on 10 December 1928.
Some of the main features in Hotel with Mackintosh flavours
are the restaurant chairs, the style of beading used throughout,
and the half circle shaped restaurant windows.