The Hill House Box

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Summary

Sector
Parks and leisure
Value
£3 million
Location
Helensburgh
Status
Completed
Customer
The National Trust for Scotland
Completion
April 2019
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Saving Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s domestic masterpiece

Robertson Central West has constructed The Hill House Box, an innovative chainmail structure that will help the building dry out and enable further conservation to take place after years of enduring the harsh Scottish weather.

Regarded as Charles Rennie Mackintosh's domestic masterpiece, the Hill House was built in 1904 for publisher Walter Blackie. Since then the house has been absorbing rain, putting the building and its unique interiors at risk.

An innovative structure to protect an architectural masterpiece

As part of the National Trust for Scotland's ambitious restoration plans for the Category A listed property, Robertson constructed the pioneering box structure that was designed to envelop and save the house. Robertson also built a temporary visitor centre to ensure visitors from around the globe can still view what is commonly known as Mackintosh's residential masterpiece.

The mesh pavilion – designed by architects Carmody Groarke – 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 house.

Collaborative procurement process

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


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

Returning a national treasure to visitors

The Box is currently open to visitors to allow them to use raised walkways to see the Hill House from a new angle while offering views over the Clyde estuary.

Project team

Architect: Carmody Groarke
Principal contractor: Robertson Central West
Quantity surveyor: Gardiner & Theobald