The Hill House, Helensburgh
The Hill House is probably the best example of design by Glasgow-based architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
The mansion was commissioned by book publisher Walter Blackie in 1902 and stands at the top of the hill in suburban Helensburgh, with unrivalled views across the Firth of Clyde and Greenock on the southern shore. The revolutionary design stands out amongst its mock Tudor and Victorian villa neighbours.
The property features a modern take on Edwardian style and is completed in the unique Mackintosh style. Both inside and outside there is acute attention to detail with notable features from Mackintosh, including strong asymmetrical lines and the stylised Rose he was so famed for. Many of the interior furnishings were designed by his wife Margaret.
Mackintosh’s wife Margaret created almost everything you see inside and mirrors the design of the building in the furniture and textiles.
Mackintosh selected Portland cement for the exterior finish but this was found to be less durable than traditional lime harl. 110 years of the harsh Scottish weather left the fabric of the building in a precarious condition. In response to concerns, the National Trust for Scotland has enclosed Hill House in a “box” of steal constriction and a chainmail like net, allowing the movement of air but not precipitation, so that the structure dries out.