Mackintosh Buildings, Nairn

Located in the High Street, Nairn, this the Mackintosh Building is a remarkable piece of architecture, with beautiful stone carving that creates a rich and vibrant visual treat. MAAC studio was invited to inspect the property and prepare a report on the condition of the building and recommend repairs to its historic fabric.

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Mackintosh Building Nairn conservation report MAAC Studio

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The development was undertaken for the town provost Charles Bain Mackintosh, who was a draper. It was built by his brother William Mackintosh and was completed in March 1869. The development was very well received at the time, with reports appearing in a number of local papers. The building was designed by John Rhind at a time when he had recently completed the Royal Hotel in Union Street Inverness and the YMCA building on the High Street in Inverness. These buildings all display Rhind’s skill as an architect of ornate and dramatic architecture.

A native of Inverness, Rhind was an important figure in the architectural history of the North of Scotland. He designed many important buildings in Inverness and numerous castles and mansions in the countryside. In any other part of the country his reputation would be recognised but unfortunately, he was the same age as the renowned Alexander Ross and his legacy has been largely overshadowed by the immense achievements of Ross. He spent his early training and career in Glasgow where he developed a particular interest in the work of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson. This became particularly evident in his designs for the Imperial Hotel and Royal Hotel in Inverness, which have a striking Greek/Egyptian styling.

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Mackintosh buildings detailed view of stone carving on facade

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The Mackintosh Buildings are of particular interest and share some design features that appear on these buildings, notably the octagonal corner belvedere and the loggia window arrangement below the cornice. The stone carving and detailing is of a particularly high quality most notably on the vertical consoles at second floor level and on the capitals to the first floor columns.

Within all of the details, such as the dormers, ironwork and balustrading, we can see a consistent exploration of themes that link these important buildings together and all of the features should be considered as having architectural significance.

Like many historic building it is in a distressed condition arising with sever stone erosion. MAAC studio have provided detailed technical advice and guidance for the restoration of the building.

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MAAC studio are accredited conservation architects and principal designers working with traditional buildings throughout Scotland. 

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