The Empire Exhibition in 1938 took place in Glasgow. It was a chance for the British public to see goods from all over the empire, but also for large corporations to show their wears and how they were making life for the everyman better. Constructed on a large site, the centre of attention was the white tower in the poster below, the Thomas Tait Tower. This massive metal clad building was built for the exhibition and (unlike the Eiffel Tower) it was deconstructed after in July 1939.
The tower was 91 metres tall and was placed on top of Ibrox Hill in Bellahouston Park. It has three viewing platforms and was clad in metal panels and looks more like a building from Thunderbirds than something in real life.
We cannot try to erect buildings in the old, medieval style of architecture, where there are certain structural features which necessitate modern treatment and modern requirements with big spacing which the old medieval architecture would not allow us to carry out.
– Thomas Tait
The tower aside, exhibition was a celebration of modernist design as the photos below show. I don’t think there has been a concentration of so many art deco buildings before or since. If you took the words off the building you could mistake it for Hollywood.
Below is a list of exhibition spaces from the map, most were white deco buildings. Also on the site were full sized Scottish homes from the crofts and cottages found in the countryside to baronial houses.
Tait also designed houses, here is one in Silver End, Essex. The whole village was built for the staff of the Crittal window factory. Taits design was for one of the management’s houses rather than the workers.