Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Hill House
Duration: 4 hours
Tour Code: GRE-001
Glasgow is a city of marked architectural styles, from the flamboyant art deco of Charles Rennie Mackintosh to the modest Victorian terraced tenement. Join us as we enjoy a panoramic overview of the city of Glasgow and explore the world of Glasgow’s best known architect.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), architect, designer and artist is celebrated around the world today as one of the most significant talents to emerge in the period which spans the mid-1890s to the late 1920s. His contribution to modern architecture and design is unquestioned. He was born one of eleven children in Glasgow. Most of his surviving work can be found in or around Glasgow and we set out on an appreciation trail of two of the sites most closely associated with Mackintosh. Combining a progressive modernity with the spirit of romanticism, the Scottish architect created many of the best loved and most influential buildings, furniture and decorative schemes of the early 20th century. Few designers can claim to have created a unique and individual style that is so instantly recognizable.
We first visit The Mackintosh House comprising the meticulously reconstructed principal interiors complete with original furniture from the Glasgow home from 1906 to 1914 of Charles Rennie and his wife. The interiors of the home – 6 Florentine Terrace – have been reassembled within the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Art Gallery. After the Mackintoshs left Glasgow in 1914 the house and contents were sold to the Davidson family. The University of Glasgow later purchased the house in 1946 from the Davidsons who subsequently gifted all the original furniture.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work can be divided into three main areas: public buildings, private homes and tea rooms. The Glasgow tea rooms he designed in the early 1900s are perhaps his most unique contribution in which art, architecture and design came together in a complete environment. These light, elegant and sophisticated interiors were an enormous contrast to the gritty, smoky urban city of Glasgow where he was born.
We next visit the The Willow Tea Room the only tea room building where Mackintosh had complete control over every aspect of the design. He modelled the exterior as well as the interior of the building and even designed the tea spoons and waitresses’ dresses. The Willow name comes from Sauciehall, the street where it is situated, which in Scottish Gaelic means ‘alley of the willows’ and the theme of willows is featured throughout the building. We stop for refreshments here giving us the opportunity to relax in the surroundings of Mackintosh. The Willow Tea Rooms remain open today to welcome visitors keen to experience the splendour of a bygone era and take tea just as they did in the same rooms and interiors 100 years ago.
Please note: This tour includes a moderate amount of walking and there is a flight of stairs to negotiate in order to reach the first floor of the house. The ground floor of the home is considered wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair participants should be accompanied by a companion to assist them. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes, dress in layers and be prepared for the possibility of rain.