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21 Nov 2018

Hill House ready for ‘Box’ construction

Written by Rhiannon Spencer-Jones, Fundraising Manager
The Hill House – now closed and ready for construction work to begin
The Hill House – now closed and ready for construction work to begin
The Hill House is ready for the Box construction to begin.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House is now ready for construction of the Box to begin! We want to give you a peak behind the scenes as our conservators prepare the house for this urgent project.

The house is now ‘wintered’ – which means that our curators and collections experts have moved key items into storage and prepared others for the work commencing. The collection at the Hill House includes the beautiful furnishings which Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh designed for the house, as well as some of Mackintosh’s iconic ladder back chairs.  

The sleeping princess gesso panel above the fireplace, designed by Margaret Macdonald
The sleeping princess gesso panel above the fireplace, designed by Margaret Macdonald

Before those items were moved into storage, we showcased them at another Mackintosh building – The Lighthouse. After the tragedy of the fire at the Glasgow School of Art we were happy to be able to bring a little bit of Mackintosh to central Glasgow. The exhibition, which ran throughout August and September, was a big success and the first time that these pieces had ever been on show anywhere other than the Helensburgh house they were designed for.

The rest of the collection, for example items which are fixed to the walls, have been covered to protect them from dust which might build up while the building work happens. This includes the beautiful Mackintosh clock – a favourite with visitors – as well as Margaret’s exquisite sleeping princess gesso panel above the fireplace. While the Box’s construction won’t impact the inside of the house directly (there will be no workmen in the house), it’s important to make sure that the collection is protected as much as possible from dust while the house is closed.

Here are a few more shots of the house ready for work to begin:

Key features in the house have been wrapped up while the Box is built
Key features in the house have been wrapped up while the Box is built
Work is getting underway soon in Helensburgh
Work is getting underway soon in Helensburgh

Keep an eye out here and on social media for news about the start of construction of the Box, and for regular updates on progress over the next few months.

Thank you to all of you who have supported this urgent project, and for helping to save Charles and Margaret Mackintosh’s design genius for future generations to enjoy.

We still need to raise a further £300,000 to reach our target for the Hill House Box Appeal, so please donate below to support his incredible conservation project and save the Hill House.