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The Hill House, Helensburgh

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  • Address: Upper Colquhoun St, Helensburgh G84 9AJ, United Kingdom


**The Hill House is currently closed while they carry out an extraordinary conservation project to tackle long-term water ingress and protect it from the rain. They hope to reopen this iconic Mackintosh property towards the end of 2018, find out more about the restoration. In the interim, visitors can view interiors of the house for the first time ever outside of the house at the exhibition, Hill House at The Lighthouse**

Most of Mackintosh’s best known buildings are in or very near Glasgow city centre. But travel 20 miles west along the Clyde and you come to an altogether different setting. In 1902, Walter Blackie, director of the well-known Glasgow publishers, commissioned Mackintosh to build a new family home, in the leafy town of Helensburgh, overlooking the Firth of Clyde. The commission extended to the gardens and much of the furniture, as well as the interior fittings and decoration, all of which have been sympathetically reinstated or restored.

Considered to be Mackintosh’s finest domestic work, The Hill House was finished in 1904 and is now in the care of The National Trust for Scotland. Walter Blackie later wrote that, when Mackintosh handed the house over to the family, he’d said: "Here is the house. It is not an Italian Villa, an English Mansion House, a Swiss Chalet, or a Scottish Castle. It is a Dwelling House", which shows that the famous architect thought of his new building as first and foremost a family home.

Whilst conservation work is underway, visitors can view the building from the outside through a see-through mesh enclosure or can view the interiors of the house at a special one-off exhibition, Hill House at The Lighthouse. Objects on display at the exhibition include suites of furniture from the stunning White Bedroom and Drawing Room, as well as individual pieces that stand out as design icons. Over 30 objects from The Hill House are presented in the exhibition, between them charting the progression of Mackintosh’s design ideas as he worked with different outlines, materials and motifs. Visit The Lighthouse for more information.

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