National Trust for Scotland

Plan to enclose Mackintosh’s Hill House beneath 60ft protective veil

Carmody-Groarke-Marckintosh-Hill-House-Conservation-gardenThe National Trust for Scotland has unveiled plans to cover Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House in Helensburgh with a 60 feet tall enclosure amidst mounting concern for the building’s structural integrity.

Architects at Carmody Groarke have been commissioned to create what the Trust calls “a colossal yet sublime” enclosure to protect the property from the elements and provide conservationists with a much-needed breathing space to devise longer-term solutions.

Hill House is one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s most significant works, one of Scotland’s most acclaimed buildings, and a seminal part of early 20th century European architecture. The building has had huge influence on architecture and design in Scotland, Europe and globally.

Built in 1928, 30km west of Glasgow, the unusual hybridisation of tradition and invention in the construction of the building has led to some fundamental long-term problems that require a major conservation project to help the house survive.

Carmody-Groarke-Marckintosh-Hill-House-Conservation-side0currentAs an integral part of this process of conservation which will take up to 12 years, the project proposes a ‘big-box’ museum to contain and protect the Hill House as an ‘artefact’.

The new museum’s architectural identity will be a huge, abstracted garden pavilion drying-shed covered entirely with a perforated mesh. This semi-permanent enclosure provides basic shelter to the original house whilst its rain-soaked existing walls are deconstructed to allow their fabric to fully dry out. This delicate enclosure will also allow uninterrupted views, night-and-day, to-and-from the landscape to Mackintosh’s architectural icon.

Within this safe, sheltered construction working territory, the “museum” will provide a remarkable public visitor experience of the conservation in progress, achieved by an elevated walkway which loops around the Hill House at high level.

Andy Groarke of Carmody Groarke said: “The National Trust of Scotland are adopting a very bold approach to the conservation of the Hill House; one that is radical and experimental in seeking new methods to extend the lifespan of our heritage, and one that invites public interaction and interpretation of these processes.”

The enclosure could be in place next year subject to a New Year fundraising drive and could remain in-situ for years thereafter.

£2.5m needed to save Rennie Mackintosh house

hillhouse-450One of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s finest buildings is facing a £2.5 million repair bill to save it from ruin.

Hill House in Helensburgh is run by the National Trust for Scotland and the charity is looking to raise the cash to save it from “excessive water ingress”.

The building, which Brad Pitt visited when he was filming World War Z in Scotland four years ago, was built for publisher Walter Blackie in 1902 and is regarded as one of the architect’s most accomplished works.

However, Mackintosh didn’t use traditional weathering material and over the years damp has caused damage to the 113-year-old structure.

NTS’s director of conservation Terry Levinthal said the trust had agreed a strategy for repairing the building and is now launching formal fundraising plans and is asking for wealthy donors to step forward and help.

He said: “The Hill House is clearly a place of the highest cultural significance, and must be well looked after.

“Caring for our heritage can be very complex and this project is a prime example of that.

“The trust has been exploring how best to resolve the longstanding issues of water ingress. We have now concluded what our repair strategy is going to be, after considerable research investigation and consultation with stakeholders.

“This is time-consuming and, of course, the costs are significant too.

“We are in the early stages of fundraising in support of this major project to protect the Hill House, Mackintosh’s finest example of domestic design, for future generations.”

Constructionline to host Glasgow ‘Meet the Buyer’ event

ConstructionlineSubcontractors and suppliers from Glasgow are being invited to a free ‘Meet the Buyer’ event at Hampden Park on Thursday to line-up deals with major industry names.

Constructionline is hosting the event session to help small businesses and SMEs meet face to face with key procurement decision makers from around Scotland.

Heron Bros Ltd will join other buyers that have signed up including the Scottish Government, and the National Trust for Scotland, as well as Stewart Milne Group, McLaughlin & Harvey, Barr Construction, Clark Contracts, Hadden Construction and Mears.

Stephanie Lawrie, client relationship manager at Constructionline, said: “In our experience local government and other businesses are wanting to give work to SMEs in their area, and on the other side, contractors are very eager to get involved in these projects. However, it’s often challenging for each to gain access to the other.

“This event is designed to offer valuable introductions between local construction companies and buyers to make this link possible, and to help build relationships between them for future projects.”

The event will run from 8:30am until 3pm and suppliers do not have to be a Constructionline member to attend. For more information or to register interest click here.