The original Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed Willow Tea Rooms Building at 217 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, is currently being restored and will open to the public on 07 June 2018 along with a newly created Visitor Centre at 215 Sauchiehall Street. Both the Tea Rooms and Visitor Centre will open under the name 'Mackintosh at the Willow'.
The original Willow Tea Rooms Building has been closed since 2014 and will open to mark the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh's birth, as part of the Mackintosh 150 year long programme of events in and around Glasgow.
The restoration will return the Willow Tea Rooms Building to its former glory at the time Mackintosh designed it for the entrepreneur Miss Kate Cranston in 1903. Over 420 pieces of furniture plus glass ware, wrought iron work, textiles and more have been commissioned from master crafts people working to Mackintosh's original designs, as part of the restoration. Visitors will be able to visit and enjoy a tour and the chance to experience this beautifully designed space, and be able to visit the iconic Salon de Luxe as well as enjoy afternoon tea or lunch in the only true and authentic Mackintosh Tea Rooms.
Immediately next door a new integrated Visitor Centre will include an interactive exhibition space telling the story of the collaboration of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, his wife Margaret MacDonald and Miss Kate Cranston as well as the history and impact of their partnership on Glasgow in the 1900s until today. The Visitor Centre will also include retail, learning and education and conference facilities and will include a tours and information desk run in partnership with the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society.
The Willow Tea Rooms Building is the only tea room where Mackintosh was in control of the exterior and interior design and the building is recognised internationally for it's importance as the only surviving tea room designed entirely by Mackintosh and as one of the world's most significant examples of a complete Art Nouveau scheme.
Mackintosh at the Willow will operate as a social enterprise which will deliver a range of exciting and sustainable activities and will create employment, training and volunteer opportunities to ensure the long term viability of this significant cultural, heritage and design landmark for Glasgow so that a world valuable asset can be protected, enjoyed and passed to future generations.
Mackintosh at the Willow will open to the public on 07 June 2018. A new website and booking system will be launched in the next few months. Currently, more information on the restoration project and plans can be found at www.willowtearoomstrust.org