Top 10 Buildings in Glasgow Guide, Best Scottish Architecture to Visit

Top 10 Buildings with the Most Incredible Architecture in Glasgow

11 August 2021

Top 10 Buildings in Glasgow: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Top 10 Buildings in Glasgow Guide

Buildings, like photographs, may say a thousand words.

We know that Glasgow is a student hub and is a popular choice among the younger generation, perhaps because of the maximum number of options when it comes to student housing in Glasgow.

However, Glasgow is much more than just an education epitome. It is renowned for its Architecture, Eateries, and serene beauty.

Glasgow’s attraction as a playground for architectural connoisseurs is enhanced by the extraordinary combination of 19th-century Victorian architecture, early twentieth century ‘Glasgow Style’ Mackintosh-designed monuments, and modern towers.

The most impressive buildings in Scotland’s largest metropolis are listed below.

People’s Palace and Winter Garden

The People’s Palace And Winter Gardens has acted as a time capsule for preserving the city’s social narratives since its grand debut in 1898. The city engineer Alexander B. McDonald designed the structure, made of Locharbriggs Red Sandstone, one of the most sought after of its kind.

It has been described as a ‘later French Renaissance adaption’ in terms of style. The sculptural details and the Doulton Fountain will appeal to anyone with a keen eye. The magnificent conservatory features a curving steel ceiling and panes of glass anchored by cast-iron columns.

Riverside Museum

Riverside Museum is a remarkable example of modern architecture, emulating the shape-shifting fluidity of clouds in the sky. Riverside is an architectural depiction of Glasgow’s rich industrial, naval, and shipbuilding legacy, designed by the late renowned Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE–the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

The building’s glass facades invite dancing light beams while towering angles add to the futuristic vibe.

Glasgow City Chambers

Glasgow City Chambers, which Queen Victoria opened in 1888, is a visual treat. This noble architectural relic, which arose from the competition and is the masterpiece of Scottish architect William Young, is a spectacular showcase of Victorian municipal architecture.

The opulent Italianate aspects of the structure, in the Beaux-arts style, reflect the great wealth collected from Glasgow’s ancient industrial past.

The enormous Venetian-style embellishments inside include a spectacular staircase made of Carrara marble, mosaic ceilings, gold leaf highlights, sumptuous Spanish mahogany panelling, swaths of stained glass, and granite pillars.

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse Architecture Scotland spiral stairs

The Lighthouse was Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s first public commission, and it dates from 1895. It bears his creative stamp all over it. The Lighthouse, now Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, was once the home of The Glasgow Herald. The spiral staircase is mesmerising, and the view of the cityscape from the Mackintosh Tower is unparalleled.

Holmwood House

Holmwood House, a domestic home designed by the eminent architect and architectural theorist Alexander’ Greek’ Thomson and completed in 1857. It is notable for its influential design and ornate embellishments. Thomson, a pioneer in sustainable architecture and a fan of the Ionic Greek style, designed this mansion for outstanding paper producer James Couper.

There are plenty of pillars and ornate decorations in this Greek Revival home. The polychromatic ornaments, statues, and frieze panels depicting Homer’s Iliad are among the original interior features that have survived.

Mitchell Library

We know that there are libraries, and then there are libraries like the Mitchell Library! This Edwardian Baroque library was built in 1877 and featured many windows, columns, and a magnificent bronze domed ceiling with intricate ornamentation. Literature, a bronze statue by Thomas Clapperton, sits perched atop this magnificent dome. Between 1972 and 1980, an expansion building was constructed.

Clyde Auditorium

The SEC Armadillo, or Clyde Auditorium, is Glasgow’s accidental Sydney Opera House. The famous armadillo characteristics represent a group of ship hulls, signifying Clyde’s deep-rooted shipbuilding heritage. Built between 1995 and 1997 to accommodate the ever-burgeoning SECC conference centre complex, the famous armadillo characteristics represent a group of ship hulls, signifying Clyde’s deep-rooted shipbuilding heritage.

The highly recognised architects Foster And Partners developed this futuristic alien-like tower, a vital part of Glasgow’s unique architectural style.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove stands out with its magnificent front of Locharbriggs Red Sandstone. A revered structure etched in the Glaswegian mind. E.J. deserves credit for his design work. This Spanish Baroque structure was designed by Milner Allen and Sir John W. Simpson in 1901.

It’s challenging to decide which is more impressive: the prestigious European fine art collection inside or the magnificent architectural architecture on the inside and out. When you’re walking around, keep an eye out for the sculptures of George Frampton, William Shirreffs, and Francis Derwent Wood.

Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral, an active Church of Scotland, is imposing and prominent and predates the Scottish Reformation. This ancient cathedral, which stands on the church of Saint Mungo, Glasgow’s patron saint, is a magnificent example of Scottish Gothic architecture. There are a lot of high ceilings, pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and beautiful stained glass.

If you are residing in the area, you can always come here for a quick trip from your student apartments in Glasgow to experience the scenic beauty of the Cathedral.

Top 10 Buildings in Glasgow


Glasgow’s GoMA, Scotland’s most visited modern art gallery, is the pride and pleasure of Royal Exchange Square in the city centre. This neoclassical tower, built in 1778, was once the residence of a wealthy tobacco lord. The structure was reconstructed from 1827 to 1832 after passing through several owners, resulting in the erection of the prominent Corinthian pillars, cupola, and enormous hall.

More and more tourists and locals are getting attracted to this gallery because of the new student accommodations in Glasgow that have recently been built right in the city’s heart.

The idea behind these accommodations is to save the extra transport and living cost that they might struggle with. The Glasgow GoMA is an upcoming student favourite indeed!

Do you need assistance deciding on the best accommodation for you to stay?

Since we recognise the value of education, AmberStudent supports millions of students around the world by delivering the greatest student housing options and fulfilling experiences.

We are up to date with COVID-19 protocols and would be delighted to assist you in finding your ideal house.

We hope you found this Top 10 Buildings in Glasgow travel guide helpful.

Author’s Bio

Anannya Chaudhary Top 10 Buildings in Glasgow author

Anannya Chaudhary is a content writer living in Gurgaon. As soon as the clock strikes the completion of the last working second of her office hours, you will find her on the way to her favourite food joint, brimming with excitement to devour a plate of her all-time favourite, chicken momos. When going gets a little too tough, you will find her falling back to her old and trustee companion, ‘The Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ to reboot. You could classify her as that one designated annoying friend who makes you cry if you resist them dragging you to the dance floor.

Comments on this guide to Top 10 Buildings with the Most Incredible Architecture in Glasgow article are welcome.

Glasgow Buildings

Contemporary Architecture in Glasgow – architectural selection below:

Glasgow Queen Street Station Building
Design: BDP Glasgow Studio, Architects
Queen Street Station Glasgow building
photo : Nick Caville
Glasgow Queen Street Station Building

Paisley Museum
Design: AL_A – Amanda Levete, Architects
Paisley Museum Renewal, Scotland
image courtesy of architects practice
Paisley Town Hall

Scottish Architecture

Contemporary Architecture in Scotland

Scottish Architecture Designs – chronological list

Scottish Architecture News

Perth City Hall Building Renovation by Mecanoo
Perth City Hall Building Scotland
image courtesy of architects office
Perth City Hall Building Renovation

Scottish Architecture

Scottish Architect

Comments / photos for the Top 10 Buildings in Glasgow page welcome