The Lighthouse celebrates 15 years as Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture and hosts a VIP event to mark the occasion.

Bailie Cameron and Humza Yousaf MSP take a moment for a photo opportunity before joining guests from across Scotland at a celebratory reception.

Opened in 1999 by HRH The Queen, the building has a long and varied past. Previously housing The Glasgow Herald, it was the first public commission Charles Rennie Mackintosh worked on. The build was completed in 1895 by architects Honeyman and Keppie, where Mackintosh was a young draughtsman. (View history here)

Now, The Lighthouse celebrates 15 years of being a beacon for the creative industries, bringing together design and architecture and placing a firm emphasis on the impact of design on people’s lives.

The Lighthouse has also welcomed 3 million visitors, from across the world, through its doors since it opened. People come to see the exhibitions, visit the Mackintosh Centre and take in the stunning views from the Mackintosh Tower and Viewing Platform. The majority of exhibitions are free to visit.

Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy at Glasgow City Council, added: “The Lighthouse has been an inspiration for practitioners, students and everyone with an interest in design for the past 15 years.  It has stayed true to its roots, as a Mackintosh building reborn during Glasgow’s reign as UK City of Architecture and Design in 1999, to showcase the best Scottish and international work in these fields ever since.  Design makes a great contribution to our economic, social and cultural lives, and as such has a crucial role to play for us all.  It is a great pleasure to salute The Lighthouse, supported by Glasgow City Council, as it reaches this landmark date in the building’s history, and we can look forward to many more successful years.”

Ian Elder, manager of The Lighthouse since 2010 said: “The Lighthouse is such an inspiring place to work and no two days are the same!

“With the support of Glasgow City Council and Creative Scotland we have been working hard to develop and introduce new ways to support designers, the design industry and to get the buzz back into The Lighthouse. This has continued with exciting new events like The Lighthouse Late and our bi-annual Design Impact Award. We continue to engage with designers of all kinds but we are also mindful of the role we play in engaging with the general public in appreciating the impact of design.

“The next two years will see exciting exhibitions and events and we’re already gearing for 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.”

Minister for Europe and International Development Humza Yousaf finished:

“I have had the privilege to attend many excellent events over the years at the iconic Lighthouse building. For the past 15 years, The Lighthouse has raised awareness of the value and processes of design in inventive and engaging ways and it has helped to put Scotland’s architecture and creative industries on the international stage.  It has promoted and helped to nourish Scottish talent at home and abroad.

“The centre has a tradition of excellence in exhibition curation, carefully considered content and creative engagement with visitors.  I look forward to many more successful programmes at The Lighthouse in the future.”



For further information:

Laura Sutherland, Aura PR

T: 0141 337 6712 / 07764 936 840 E:


Notes to editors:


  • Interviews available on request
  • Image of Mr Yousaf, Bailie Cameron and Ian Elder with the event’s crystal theme projection, which symbolises 15 years.
  • Visit The Lighthouse’s website
  • 15 exhibition pieces:
  • MAKLab
  • Design Impact Awards 2014 – Ice Cream Architecture
  • Building a Legacy – Athlete’s Village – model
  • Design Thinking
  • Unlooking – Creative Mackintosh
  • Lautner
  • Six Cities
  • Marimeko
  • Block 2005
  • Anatomy of the house
  • Scottish Show
  • Wim Crouwell
  • Carousel of images showing various exhibitions.
  • It’s not Very Nice that exhibition
  • Unbuilt Mackintosh – model