Pioneering Rescue of Hill House and the Renewal of Glencoe Visitor Centre

The National Trust for Scotland’s ambitious five-year plan is underway to enhance the visitor experience at key sites across Scotland. 

A number of landmark buildings are being restored and most recently works have commenced on both the rescue of the Hill House (Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s domestic masterpiece) and the renewal of Glencoe Visitor Centre, where G&T is providing Project Management, Cost Management and Principal Designer Services.

The Hill House in Helensburgh has been absorbing the rain, putting the building and its unique interiors at risk since it was built more than a century ago. Now the conservation charity is surrounding the building with an innovative chainmail structure over the next six months, to protect it from the elements.

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© Carmody Groarke
"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."

​Richard Williams, General Manager for Glasgow and West at the National Trust for Scotland

This semi-permeable metallic mesh pavilion, designed by award-winning architects Carmody Groarke, will allow the building to dry out over a number of years. In doing so, further conservation work can commence to save the world-famous house for generations to come.

The house and gardens will be closed to the public during the construction of the pavilion, otherwise known as the ‘Box’, but they are expected to reopen in late spring 2019 complete with new raised walkways around the exterior of the house and over the roof. These will give visitors a completely new way of experiencing the Hill House and Mackintosh’s design, as well as offering stunning views over the Clyde estuary. A community hut will also be open on site regularly over the winter, giving visitors the chance to drop in and see how the build is going.

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© Carmody Groarke

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.”

Running alongside the Hill House project is the renewal of the Glencoe Visitor Centre. Glencoe is a hugely popular location within Scotland and this project is a top priority for Operations Manager, Emily Bryce, who believes the improved centre will make a huge difference to the visitor experience.

"We’ll be making the most of the glen’s amazing stories, from its origins, millions of years ago, to the present day to give visitors an even more memorable experience."

Emily Bryce, Operations Manager at the Glencoe Visitor Centre

Emily commented:

“Glencoe is one of Scotland’s natural treasures and captures the imagination of many people, for many different reasons. We’ll be making the most of the glen’s amazing stories, from its origins, millions of years ago, to the present day to give visitors an even more memorable experience and to explain why we do all we do to protect this place for the love of Scotland.”

Gardiner & Theobald - Ntsscotland Gtwebland

© Carmody Groarke

Gardiner & Theobald is providing Project Management, Cost Management and Principal Designer Services on a number of enhancement projects under the conservation charity’s £57 million improvement plan over the next five years.

Find out more about these projects in our case study.

Find out more about our work in Scotland.

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