The Hill House Box
By Carmody Groarke
Client National Trust for Scotland
Awards RIAS Award 2021 and RIBA National Award 2021
This radical approach to conservation protects Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Grade 'A' listed masterpiece from imminent collapse due to prolonged water damage. It also contains visitor facilities with a reception, café and toilets that previously were uncomfortably housed in the house itself.
The new demountable structure and walkway provides an environment for the building to dry out, (an integral part of the conservation process) as well as giving the visitors the opportunity to see the building and its conservation at close quarters, while also attracting under-represented groups and young people to enjoy a very different experience of the historic building and gardens.
It is demonstrably successful, both in terms of reducing the dampness, and also in attracting many more people to visit the building. A daring and unconventional approach that has solved a very difficult problem.