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"Windyhill", Rowantreehill Road Kilmacolm

A Category A Listed Building in Kilmacolm, Inverclyde

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8901 / 55°53'24"N

Longitude: -4.6204 / 4°37'13"W

OS Eastings: 236222

OS Northings: 669431

OS Grid: NS362694

Mapcode National: GBR 3B.1SVP

Mapcode Global: WH3NX.063X

Entry Name: "Windyhill", Rowantreehill Road Kilmacolm

Listing Date: 10 June 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 345250

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB12450

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kilmacolm

County: Inverclyde

Electoral Ward: Inverclyde East

Parish: Kilmacolm

Traditional County: Renfrewshire

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Description

Detached L-plan two-storey house in severe "Modern Movement" manner. Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and built between 1900-02. Roughcast walls, slated pitched roofs, flat roof to porch behind parapet. There is a long cat-slide gable to the northeast, a two-storey apsidal stair tower to the north and a similar but wider and lower porch. Sandstone dressings to main entrance doorway. Windows are multi-paned timber sash and leaded casements in a range of dimensions with roughcast surrounds. Large canted bay window to west elevation. Single-storey washhouse and laundry attached. Decorative elements by Mackintosh to the interior. Rubble boundary wall incorporating a curved dip with dressed stone coping. Outdoor garden space also designed by Mackintosh.

Statement of Interest

Mackintosh designed this large detached house in the affluent small commuter town of Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire for the Glasgow produce broker and commission merchant William Davidson, who became one of Mackintosh s long-term patrons. Windyhill was a private commission that Mackintosh was allowed to pursue prior to becoming a partner in the practice of John Honeyman & Keppie in 1901.

For his design, Mackintosh drew heavily on Scottish vernacular traditions but also borrowed historical details from English architecture, as well as showing reference to recent architectural developments. Contemporary vernacular revival work in Scotland that may have influenced him included the work of James MacLaren and Dunn & Watson s cottages (LB12293 and LB12295), Glenlyon House (LB12266) and the Hotel (LB12292) at Fortingall in highland Perthshire. Robert Lorimer s cottages at Colinton in Edinburgh and Voysey s villas in the southeast England of the 1890s are also thought to have influenced Mackintosh s design for Windyhill (Mackintosh Architecture).

Windyhill would go on to serve as a model for two of Mackintosh s other important projects, The Hill House at Helensburgh (LB34761) and the House for an Art Lover competition design. Windyhill marks the emergence of Mackintosh s use of roughcast, which would become an important element of his work in the early 1900s. Evoking traditional buildings in Scotland and England, it became a common feature of the vernacular revival during the early 20th century that took place across the United Kingdom. The L-shaped plan was also typical of vernacular revival houses and it is suggested that the layout of Windyhill derives specifically from The Hurst, Sutton Coldfield (1893) by W. R. Lethaby, whose work Mackintosh was know to have admired (Mackintosh Architecture). Mackintosh did not design all of the interior fittings and furniture as the owners brought some of their existing furniture (Mackintosh Architecture).

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) was born in Glasgow and is regarded internationally as one of the leading architects and designers of the 20th century. He became known as a pioneer of Modernism, although his architecture took much inspiration from Scottish Baronial, and Scottish and English vernacular forms and their reinterpretation. The synthesis of modern and traditional forms led to a distinctive form of Scottish arts and crafts design, known as The Glasgow Style . This was developed in collaboration with contemporaries Herbert McNair, and the sisters Francis and Margaret Macdonald (who would become his wife in 1900), who were known as The Four . The Glasgow Style is now synonymous with Mackintosh and the City of Glasgow.

Mackintosh s work is wide-ranging and includes public, educational and religious buildings to private houses, interior decorative schemes and sculptures. He is associated with over 150 design projects, ranging from being the principal designer, to projects he was involved with as part of the firm of John Honeyman & Keppie (Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh from 1901). The most important work during this partnership was the Glasgow School of Art (LB33105), which was built in two phases from 1897 and culminated in the outstanding library of 1907.

Other key works include the Willow Tea Rooms (LB33173), the Glasgow Herald Building (now The Lighthouse) (LB33087) and Hill House (LB34761), which display the modern principles of the German concept of Gesamtkunstwerk , meaning the synthesis of the arts . This is something that Mackintosh applied completely to all of his work, from the exterior to the internal decorative scheme and the furniture and fittings.

Mackintosh left Glasgow in 1914, setting up practice in London the following year. Later he and Margaret moved to France, where until his death, his artistic output largely turned to textile design and watercolours.

Listed building record revised in 2019.

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