Hill House – Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Discussion Hill House Commentary

“Hill House, the largest and finest of Mackintosh’s domestic buildings, . . . occupies a hillside side that looks out over the Clyde estuary, and is surrounded by grounds meticulously landscaped by Mackintosh, who went to the extent of instructing that the trees be clipped according to his manner of drawing them.

“Built from local sandstone and rough-cast rendered, the house bears the image of Scottish baronial traditions. For the interior, Mackintosh designed fireplaces, furnishings and fittings. His attentions extended from the design of built-in wardrobes for the white bedroom to the detailing in a superb set of pewter fire tongs and poker. Walls in the house were generally white, some with delicate stencil designs in pale greens, pinks, and silver.”

Jackie Cooper, ed. Mackintosh Architecture, the Complete Buildings and Selected Projects. New York: Rizzoli Press, 1980, p. 40.

The narrow building stretches west to east with an entrance off the road to the west, so that all major rooms face south to the view of the estuary. At the eastern end of these major rooms a wing extends north, with rooms for the kitchen and services and the children. Out of these simple wings volumes extend, a curving stair volume to the north, a sunny drawing room bay to the south, a curved bay for the bedroom, compositional extrusions in the simple major volumes which focus views and bring in light.— JY

“Mackintosh saw building not as a single creative act, but as a social process in which the adaptation of the original design to suit the changing needs of the client was vital. He altered the design of Hill House, for example, while building progressed, to accommodate a nursery for a new baby — an unexpected addition to the Blackie family.”

— Barbara Bernard, Ibid., p. 10.

Sources on Hill House

“The History of Interior Design”, by John Pile, ArchitectureWeek No. 65, 2001.0905, pC1.1.

Francis D. K. Ching. Architecture: Form, Space, and Order. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1979. ISBN 0-442-21535-5. LC 79-18045. NA2760.C46. interior perspective drawing, p177.

Expanded 1996 edition, available at Amazon.com

Howard Davis. Slides from photographer’s collection. PCD .1536.xxxx. PCD .1536.xxxx. PCD .1536.xxxx. PCD .1536.xxxx.

Sir Banister Fletcher. Sir Banister Fletcher’s A History of Architecture. 18th ed., revised by J.C. Palmes. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1975. ISBN 684-14207-4. NA200.F63. photos, p1169.
Expanded 1996 edition, available at Amazon.com

James MacAulay. Hill House : Charles Rennie MacKintosh (Architecture in Detail).
London: Phaidon/Chronicle Books, July 1994. ISBN 0-7148-2780-0.
Available at Amazon.com

Robert Macleod. Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Feltham, Middlesex, England: The Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1968. NA997.M3M3. drawing of ground floor plan, p93. drawing of second floor plan, p93. drawing of attic floor plan, p93. drawing of interior elevation of main bedroom west wall, p94.

John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 1975. interior photo, p225.
Reprint edition: Da Capo Press, April 1991. ISBN 0-3068-0436-0.
— An accessible, inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations.
available at Amazon.com

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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