The Willow Tea Room's 3D Printed Exhibition

“Mackintosh at The Willow” is perhaps the most significant locations in all of Glasgow for celebrating the design heritage of the city.  The "A-listed" building is the only surviving tearoom completely designed by world famous Scottish architect: Charles Rennie Mackintosh. 3D Printworks are delighted to be involved in the regeneration of this renowned location.

After saving the 217 Sauchiehall Street address from a forced sale in 2014, registered charity “The Willow Tea Rooms Tust” has rejuvenated the site to include a 200 seat, three floor restaurant featuring a variety of beautifully unique spaces.  Furthermore, the building has underwent further development with an integrated visitor centre, gift shop and an amazing interactive exhibition about the history of the location. It is here you will find the contribution of 3D Printworks with a selection of 3D printed items.

The exhibition teaches visitors about the life and story of local entrepreneur Miss Kate Cranston and her collaboration with Charles Rennie Mackintosh during the late 1890s and early 1900s. Upon entering the exhibition visitors are met with 3D Printwork's first creation, wall mounted LED plates which commence the exhibition.

Wall Mounted LED plates
Wall Mounted LED Plates

The plates display monocoloured images which help tell the story of turn-of-the-century Glasgow. The original “Willow Pattern” or “Blue Willow” design displayed on the plates was selected as the china pattern in the original team room over 100 years ago. The elaborate chinoiserie pattern tells a story inspired by Chinese legend, the pattern has significance in stylising tea rooms worldwide.

Plates With China Pattern

Secondly, we printed these curious cups and saucers which feature in the exhibition as audio outlets for spoken information about the wonderful history and intricacies of tea brewing. The exhibition is a fully interactive sensory amusement with audio, visual and even smells immersing visitors in the experience.

3D Printed Cups
LED display saying that I make a good cup of tea

There are many museums and exhibitions that are using 3D printing to add a new dimension to their experiences, we are truly proud to be involved in such unique and culturally important example of this. The Willow Tea Rooms are a homage of Glasgow’s design heritage as well as a celebration of its future. The whole building is a beautiful combination of masterful turn-of-the-century craftsmanship and design which has been brought to life using contemporary techniques such as those offered by ourselves.  Additive manufacturing technology gives individuals and organisations the ability to materialise their vision, the scope for creating experiences and spaces with 3D printing is on full display in this wonderful exhibition.

If you are interested in using 3D printing for a professional or personal project, then you can contact 3D printworks to discuss how we could help you do so. If you already are a 3D printer then why not check out our range of UK manufactured, high quality 3D printer filament.