WHERE IS IT? Halfway along Sauchiehall Street, around the corner from the Glasgow School of Art.
Completed in 1865, the Grecian Chambers were designed as a commercial property for Glasgow businessman William Henderson.
It gets its name from Thonson's use his signature features including the ornamental Greek columns lining the top floor. The symmetrical structure has remained largely intact, save for the roof, which was rebuilt in 1902 following a ravaging fire. In 2001 the building was refurbished to house the Centre for Contemporary Arts (the CCA) by Page & Park Architects. They stripped away the additions that had been made over the century, rediscovering the original villa intact and converting what they described as a cul-de-sac of a building into a series of dramatic art spaces and a cafe.
The CCA was formed in the wake of writer Tom McGrath’s Third Eye Centre in 1992, which up until this point had been a beacon of art within the city, hosting the likes of Edwin Morgan and Allen Ginsberg. Managing to fill the cultural void, the organisation was given a lottery grant to redevelop the Grecian Chambers as its headquarters, supporting artists with tenancy while offering the citizens of the city an opportunity to explore the world of art, hosting six major exhibitions annually. The Centre provides a platform for all branches of art including film, theatre, visual art music and the spoken word.