Hill House Box in Helensburgh

Hill House Box in Helensburgh, Scottish Architecture, Images, Building Restoration Scotland

Hill House Box

Protection for Charles Rennie Mackintosh Building in Argyll, Scotland

30 Nov 2018

Hill House Box in Helensburgh

Architects: Carmody Groarke

Location: Hill House, Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, western Scotland

Box the Hill House


Construction is officially underway on a pioneering project designed to save the Hill House – regarded as Charles Rennie Mackintosh‘s domestic masterpiece.

Robertson has started building a unique ‘Box’ which will envelop the famous building in Helensburgh to protect it from the elements as part of the National Trust for Scotland’s ambitious restoration plans.

CGI of the ‘Box’ at the Hill House:
Hill House Box in Helensburgh building

A truly unique construction project, it will see an innovative chainmail structure erected around the building over the course of the next six months. Designed by architects Carmody Groarke, the mesh pavilion will help the Hill House dry out after more than a century of absorbing rain, allowing further conservation work to be carried out on the famous house.

Once work on the ‘Box’ is completed in spring next year, it will then open to visitors who will be able to use the raised walkways to see the Hill House from a new angle while offering views over the Clyde estuary.

The Hill House was built in 1904 for publisher Walter Blackie – and to mark the start of the construction of the ‘Box’, representatives of the National Trust for Scotland and Robertson were joined by his granddaughter, Ruth Currie.

Construction work is now underway at the Hill House:
Hill House Box in Helensburgh building team
From L-R: Andy Groarke, architect, Carmody Groarke; Fritha Costain, Business Manager, Glasgow and West, National Trust for Scotland; Peter Porteous, Business Team Leader, Scape Group; Ruth Currie, granddaughter of Walter Blackie who commissioned Hill House; Ed Parry, Managing Director, Robertson Central West; Richard Williams, General Manager, Glasgow and West, National Trust for Scotland.

Ed Parry, Managing Director, Robertson Central West, said: “It is an absolute privilege to be leading the construction of such a unique project. The Hill House is precious to us all and the ‘Box’ will play a pivotal role in allowing vital restoration work to take place.”

The National Trust for Scotland launched a ‘Box the Hill House’ campaign in February of this year, which aimed to raise £1.5m towards the total cost of the ‘Box’ – to date, more than £1.3m has been raised, with fundraising continuing.

Richard Williams, General Manager for Glasgow and West at the National Trust for Scotland, said: “Mackintosh was a pioneer and a visionary and we’re reflecting that spirit in our approach to saving his domestic masterpiece.

“This is a project that has been many, many years in the making and it is wonderful to be at the point that we’re now seeing work begin to save such a significant place. What we’re doing here is a rescue plan for the long term and will, we’re sure, protect this incredible building for future generations.”

The Hill House project, being delivered by Robertson, was procured through Scape Venture, a collaborative procurement consultancy and construction route, which supports public/private partnerships and the charity sector achieve best value in their programmes of work.

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said: “These careful conservation works will preserve and celebrate an important piece of our culture and history. Robertson have a strong track record of restoring heritage sites, a great example of which is the Spanish City restoration in Whitley Bay.

“By procuring the project through Scape Venture, National Trust for Scotland will benefit from time and cost certainty, with strong project performance derived from collaboration also securing value for money.”

Donations to the ‘Box the Hill House’ appeal can be made online at: https://www.nts.org.uk/Campaign/Help-us-save-the-Hill-House

Rennie Mackintosh

Carmody Groarke

More info & photos about this celebrated house by Rennie Mackintosh: Hill House

About Robertson
Robertson is one of the largest independently owned construction, infrastructure and support services companies in the UK, with a strong confirmed order book, diverse income streams and a dedicated, expert workforce.

Covering the entire built environment lifecycle, we operate throughout the UK, with offices across Scotland and the North and Midlands of England.

The group was established in 1966 by our Executive Chairman, Bill Robertson CBE. His strategy of creating a broad range of companies – run as separate, fully resourced entities – has ensured strong growth, value-creation and career opportunities, and has led to the comprehensive group of well-run companies that exists today.

Robertson comprises 22 businesses, directly employing over 3000 people. These include regionally based construction companies, off-site manufacture, timber engineering, facilities management and energy services, a capital projects business dedicated to public sector partnerships, property development, regeneration, civil engineering, building services, asset management, and housebuilding for the private and affordable markets.

A strong entrepreneurial culture – built on the foundations of innovation, productivity and sustainability – permeates all our businesses.

Although we encompass a variety of separate businesses and capabilities, we are one group with a common goal: working together to transform the built environment.

About Scape Group
Scape Group is a public-sector organisation, dedicated to creating ongoing efficiency and social value via the built environment. Scape and its subsidiaries offer fully managed frameworks, property services, innovative design solutions, community investment opportunities and joint ventures.

By bringing together the strongest teams from the public and private sectors, Scape’s rapidly deployed, highly measurable and collaborative approach delivers value for money and quality buildings whilst stimulating local economic growth and community enrichment. Scape operates with a buying capacity of around £13bn and has helped to deliver over 2,400 public sector projects with more than 1,800 currently in progress. In 2018, Scape Group was named the ‘Best Client to Work With’ across the public and private sector, at the annual Construction Enquirer Awards for the third consecutive year.

Hill House Box in Helensburgh images / information 291118

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