For such a small city, contained within such a small island, Glasgow has gifted the world with such a vast amount of treasures.

Glasgow’s architecture is some of the finest created throughout history and even now hundreds of years later, Glasgow architects are continuously creating works of art unlike anything seen before.

We bring you Glasgow’s Most Spectacular Pieces of Architecture…

1. Tron Steeple

Tron Steeple

One of the oldest buildings in the city. The Tron Steeple, built in the 1600’s, is one of Glasgow’s most iconic buildings. In a past life it was used to weigh and tax all goods which had travelled up the Clyde. Tron was an old Scots/Norman word for weighing scales.

2. Armadillo/Clyde Auditorium

Clyde Auditorium

Designed by award-winning architects Fosters and Partners, it is actually not inspired by the Sydney Opera House but instead, borne of the vision of interlocking ship hulls, paying homage to Glasgow’s legendary shipbuilding status.

3. Riverside Museum


Not only one of the best looking museums in the world, but also considered one of the best museums in Europe. The Museum of Transport won best Museum in Europe in 2013 and hosted the 2015 award ceremony.

4. Finnieston Crane

Finnieston Crane

A surprising development for one of only eleven cantilever cranes left in the world (four of which are on the Clyde), long time out of commission the Finnieston Crane has become an icon of remembrance for Glasgow’s engineering heritage. Commissioned in 1928, Finnieston Crane up until 1988 was in working order.

5. Glasgow School of Art


A living breathing work of art. Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterpiece commissioned and built between 1897 and 1909. It is considered one of the greatest pieces of architecture of all time. Is being repaired after being severely damaged during a fire in May 2014.

6. Hydro


Quickly establishing itself as one of the best performance venues in the world. The SSE Hydro is second only to the O2 in London for busiest arenas. Designed by Fosters & Partners, the venue is unlike anything else in the world and is considered one of the best venues in Britain for crowd atmosphere.


7. Kelvingrove Art Gallery


One of the most recognisable buildings in Glasgow. It is the most popular museum in Britain outside of London. Designed by John W. Simpson and E.J. Milner Allen in 1901, originally titled the Palace of Fine Arts, Kelvingrove Museum is now the most popular “free to visit” in Scotland.

8. University of Glasgow



The fourth oldest university in the world, Glasgow University contains more than 100 listed buildings and has been at the forefront of educational excellence since the 1400’s, their library consists of nearly 2.5 million books and Glasgow University was one of the first universities to pursue a philanthropic nature. Offering people from less privileged backgrounds the chance to pursue further education, before many others anywhere in the world.

9. Science Centre & Tower

Glasgow Science2

Glasgow Tower is actually the only tower in the world which can spin 360 degrees on its axis.

10. Lighthouse


The first public commission of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The Lighthouse is Scotland’s National Centre for Architecture and Design

11. Glasgow City Chambers

Glasgow City Chambers

A governmental building since construction in 1888. Glasgow’s City Chambers is an enormous work of architectural genius. Covering 14,000 square feet Paisley architect John Carrick designed the building to best reflect the power and wealth Glasgow represented as Second City of the Empire.

12. Daily Record Building

Daily Record

Another Mackintosh marvel but on perhaps that doesn’t enjoy the same kind of publicity as some of his others. The old Daily Record Building on Renfield Lane is a masterpiece through Mackintosh’s use of contrasting brickwork and stained glass.

13. Cineworld Renfield Street

Cineworld collage

One of the most spectacular cinema designs in the world. Cineworld on Renfield Street following its unveling was actually hounded with derision, winning the “carbuncle of the year” award. Drawing influences from Mackintosh’s glass design. It is the tallest cinema in the world and is now regarded as one of the finest pieces of modern architecture in Scotland.

14. Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral12

Built in the 12th century Glasgow Cathedral has witnessed nearly 900 years of Glasgow’s tumultuous history. It is one of only a few Gothic Cathedrals to have survived the Scottish reformation unroofed.

15. Kibble Palace


The Kibble Palace in the Botanic Gardens has stood in its current position since 1873. It was, however, originally built for John Kibble, it eventually travelled by barge along the Clyde. Used at first as a concert venue, it is now used to grow plants, several of which have been cultivated for more than 120 years.

16. Theatre Royal

Theatre Royal

A recent gem in Glasgow’s architecture portfolio, considering the Theatre Royal is approaching 150 years, the grand dame of Scottish Theatre is looking good for her age. Following an £11 million pounds facelift, the building has been upgraded, to now be considered a piece of architectural magnificence and befitting of 21st century Glasgow.

17. Mitchell Library

Mitchell Library

Built at the request of Tobacco Merchant Stephen Mitchell. It is the largest public reference library in Europe and is considered a Category B listed building it is used by more than 500,000 people every year.

18. Templeton on the Green


Glasgow’s Venetian Masterpiece, designed as much out of spite as anything else. In the late 1800’s following repeated rejections James Templeton challenged architect William Leiper to design something, impossible to reject. It is said to have been styled upon Doges Palace in Venice, and was designed with such grandeur as to appease the wealthy patrons of nearby Monteith Street.

19. Galley of Modern Art


Built in 1778, The GoMA was originally the home of wealthy Tobacco Merchant, William Cunninghame. It was bought by the Bank of Scotland in 1817 and became the Royal Exchange (hence the name of the area). It was redeveloped between 1827 and 1832. In 1996, it was redeveloped and opened as the Gallery of Modern Art. (GoMA).

Where have we missed Glasgow? What’s your opinion of Glasgow’s timeless architecture?