TQ2777 : A posthumous Charles Rennie Mackintosh project? Glebe Place, Chelsea

taken 9 months ago, near to Chelsea, Kensington And Chelsea, Great Britain

A posthumous Charles Rennie Mackintosh project? Glebe Place, Chelsea
A posthumous Charles Rennie Mackintosh project? Glebe Place, Chelsea
In an old copy of Pevsner's 'The Buildings of England' I found mention of a house in Glebe Place where the Scottish architect had lived in the last years of his life. - 'His alterations to the front can easily be recognised'.

That puzzled me, as I'd been a weekly visitor to Glebe Place in my student days, but had no recollection of any building in CRM's style. Around about that time I'd been round his School of Art in Glasgow, and made the pilgrimage to Helensburgh to see Hill House - so I have a fair idea of what to look for.

Approaching from the King's Road, I knew that the house I was looking for was in the short east-west stretch at the southern end of Glebe Place. There weren't many to choose from. One was a little cottagey place with a long low six-light window on the first floor. Arts & Crafts influence, maybe, but not Mackintosh. But then further along there's a blue plaque (on a door) commemorating CRM and his wife 'who worked from this building from 1915 to 1923'.

Just beyond the plaque - to the right - there is the house shown in my picture. I recognised Mackintosh features at first sight - expanses of pale, blank wall, and black iron railings set in low copings which sweep up to join the columns on either side of the doorway. Even the bushes look like the 'lollipops' in a CRM sketch. And - to get really architectural - there's the 'massing of volumes'.

But then, if you turn left round the corner, you find that the site is a deep one, stretching some way along the narrow road. And there's a double garage in the same style - but CRM can't possibly have designed that!

From what I've found on the web, it seems that the building incorporates some of the fabric of the Mackintoshes' studios, but the design is quite recent. To be kind you might call it a CRM 'tribute building' - rather than a fake. The exterior is undeniably a sensitive and imaginative job. On the other hand, illustrations of the interior show spaces quite unlike anything CRM could have imagined.

That saddens me, as the Mackintoshes were such inspired designers of interior spaces and of furnishings. For me, the mismatch between inside and out in the Glebe Place house undermines the whole project.
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TQ2777, 1057 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 23 November, 2021   (more nearby)
Submitted
Wednesday, 24 November, 2021
Geographical Context
Housing, Dwellings  Educational sites  City, Town centre  Construction, Development  People, Events 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 2712 7781 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:29.0978N 0:10.2368W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 2713 7782
View Direction
South-southwest (about 202 degrees)
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