Studio Instrmnt's Glasgow

The Scottish duo behind the design firm is helping forge the industrial city's modern identity.

Founders of Instrmnt Pete Sunderland and Ross Baynham in their Glasgow boutique.

“Glasgow’s always been a creative city,” says Ross Baynham, cofounder of Instrmnt. The multidisciplinary studio launched in 2014 with just a single product: a minimalist steel watch inspired by midcentury design. It was an instant hit. Baynham and his partner, Pete Sunderland, have since expanded their reach. A collaboration with British cycling brand Freddie Grubb, known for applying the sensibility of contemporary furniture in its frames, resulted in a suave two-speed bike. Next came a clean-lined, modular daybed made of wool, American walnut, and Carrara marble, created in partnership with Edinburgh craftsman Namon Gaston. Both are on offer at their just-opened boutique in Trongate, a neighborhood populated by design practices and galleries. Architecture obsessives have long flocked to Scotland’s second city to see the Arts and Crafts buildings of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, but the modern design scene is still finding its footing, only recently starting to rise out of Glasgow’s industrial maw. Innovation and interconnectivity are providing the foundation for a materializing start-up culture. “Obviously, [the internet has] been around for some time, but it’s maturing now to the point where you can be globally successful in a smaller city,” he says. “Glasgow has really welcomed that with open arms.”

Instrmnt Store.

Pete Sunderland & Ross Baynham’s Guide to Glasgow

Instrmnt Store
“We can’t not include our own store! We offer accessories, apothecary, and homeware from some of the finest independent brands around the world, alongside freshly ground coffee from Dear Green and the strongest selection of magazines in Glasgow. We’re located in the thriving Trongate area, which is packed with galleries, creative spaces, restaurants, and interesting shops.”

Sub Club
“A Glasgow institution, ‘Subby’ is first on the list. Arguably one of the best clubs in the world, it’s a cross-section of Glasgow society and hosts electronic music every night of the week.”

The Modern Institute
“Located just round the corner from our store is one of the finest galleries for contemporary art in the country. Over the course of its eighteen-year existence it’s become synonymous with Turner Prize winners and world-class exhibitions.”

The Lighthouse 
“The Charles Rennie Mackintosh–designed center for architecture and design is an iconic but well-hidden building. It’s got a very strong show calendar and a superb permanent Mackintosh exhibition, as well as two platforms with the best views of the city. Be prepared for the never-ending spiral staircase.”

Tabac + Panther Milk Bar
“Right next to the Lighthouse, this relative newcomer to the bar scene is always busy and has an eclectic crowd. The fit-out is pretty special: dimly lit, lots of dark wood and deco-esque, cut-glass orbs suspended from the ceiling. Inside Tabac is Panther Milk Bar, open solely on the weekends and Glasgow’s only ‘speakeasy.’ Leche de pantera (a milk-and-gin mix that originated in Barcelona) is served from an old lift shaft in a dark fire escape.”

(CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP) The Ubiquitous Chip. The Lighthouse. W2. Panther Milk Bar.

“Operating out of a 19th-century cattle shed in the west of the city, this boutique stocks pieces from Margaret Howell, Folk, and Universal Works. Owner David Mullane was one of the first to bring Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto to the country when he launched his famous fashion emporium, The Warehouse, back in the eighties. In years gone by, W2 was the only choice for designer labels—however, with the introduction of 18 Montrose and, next year, End, we’re heading towards exciting times for menswear.”

“This Middle Eastern–inspired restaurant in the Finnieston area is run by head chef Rosie Healey, previously of Ottolenghi. Finnieston was due an Ottolenghi-style restaurant—it’s an area awash in amazing bars and restaurants, but this one stands out. The small plates are constantly changing; current favorites are the octopus and the beef pappardelle.”

The Ubiquitous Chip
“‘The Chip’ is an iconic establishment on Ashton Lane’s cobblestoned streets that has been around for three decades. The restaurant—with its ponds, fountains, and greenery—offers modern dishes that showcase local ingredients, while the mezzanine-level brasserie serves Scottish classics. It appears very small from the outside, but is actually a maze of levels and floors, with a small roof terrace at the top that is ideal for a summer pint (or a winter cigarette).”

Papercup Coffee Company
“Situated across from the old flat where Instrmnt was launched, this is the place we’d go for a caffeine hit every morning (and still often do). It’s also one of the best brunch spots in the city.”

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