HE'S been the inspiration for everyone from Brad Pitt to Darth Vadar, Barbra Streisand to Bladerunner.

Glasgow, the city where he was born, has been celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Incredibly, despite his astonishing legacy which continues to inspire, Mackintosh was never fully appreciated in his lifetime. However, his influence is global… and beyond.

Darth Vadar, for instance sits on a Mackintosh-inspired chair in The Empire Strikes Back. His geometric designs also influenced movies such as Bladerunner and Inception. When Brad Pitt filmed World War Z in Glasgow, he stayed in one of the architect’s masterpieces, The Hill House in Helensburgh, just 40 minutes from the city centre, and, when another of Mackintosh’s iconic buildings, Glasgow School of Art was ravaged by fire, Pitt and, former Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, became trustees of the appeal to restore it. Other celebrity fans include Barbra Streisand, Billy Connolly and Madonna. Even the father of American architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright, is said to have ‘borrowed’ an unbuilt Mackintosh design for one of his most revered works, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The best way to assess why Mackintosh is so renowned is to visit Glasgow, the Gateway to Scotland, to see some of his classic work. While, the School of Art will take years to restore there remains much of Mackintosh to enjoy, not least Mackintosh at The Willow, the stunning restoration of the original Willow Tearooms building in Sauchiehall Street, one of Glasgow’s most iconic city centre thoroughfares (Mackintoshatthewillow.com). Just 90 minutes away in Dundee, the magnificent new V&A Museum – a world-class celebration of Scottish and international design - has Mackintosh at its beating heart (Vam.ac.uk). 

We’ve put together a list of some of the other places to experience Mackintosh this year, all within minutes of Glasgow city centre.

Queens Cross Church

Minutes from the city centre, this was a favourite place of the late Princess Margaret, the church is now the home of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society and entry is just £4. Children Free. For more information go to Mackintoshchurch.com

Scotland Street School 

One of the biggest and best-loved of all Mackintosh’s buildings, the school – designed between 1903 and 1906 – provides a double whammy in terms of visitor experience. As well as exploring the amazing architecture, you get the chance to explore the history of Scottish education. Minutes from the city centre. Entry is free. For more information, visit their website here

Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery 

Kelvingrove, around 10 minutes from the city centre, was the venue for last year’s blockbuster exhibition on Mackintosh. The museum has a permanent gallery devoted to the designer and the Glasgow style he helped create. For more information, visit their website here

House for an Art Lover 

Designed as an entry to a prestigious German architecture competition, House for an Art Lover was conceived by Mackintosh in 1901, but after being disqualified on a technicality, it was never built. Not in the architect’s lifetime, anyhow. The project was ambitiously resurrected in the 1990s and the house finally opened in Glasgow’s south side, 95 years after its original conception. Set in one of Scotland’s largest urban parks it is within 15 minutes of the city centre. Entry: £/£4.50. Children under 10 go free. Houseforanartlover.co.uk

The Lighthouse

Mackintosh’s first public commission was originally designed in 1895 for The Herald newspaper, but since 1999 it has housed event spaces, a cafe, Glasgow’s Centre for Architecture and Design, and a permanent exhibition and learning centre dedicated to its architect. The rooftop viewing area also provides some of the most spectacular views in the city. Entry is free. 

The Mackintosh House

Arguably nowhere better showcases Mackintosh’s genius as an interior designer than this wonderful recreation of the house he shared with Margaret in the West End of the city, beside the historic University of Glasgow. Entry: £6/£3. Under 18s go free.

There is far more of the genius’ work to visit all within easy reach of the city centre. For more information go to https://www.crmsociety.com/ or, to find out more about what else is available in Glasgow, visit https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/

Glasgow, Gateway to Scotland a partnership between People Make Glasgow and Glasgow Airport, in association with The Herald, aims to attract more US visitors and capitalise on a recent growth in overseas tourists by highlighting the city’s position as both a must-see destination in itself, and the ideal base for accessing Scotland’s landscapes, history and culture.

Delta flies direct to Glasgow from JFK www.delta.com.

United flies direct from Newark www.united.com.