Hill House 1 chair
Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1904
Stained Ash, upholstered seat
In 1903 construction was started on Mackintosh’s largest domestic architectural commission. The Hill House was designed for wealthy Glasgow publisher Walter W. Blackie. The radically modern house departed from the fashionable organic forms of Art Nouveau, and was realised in a more hard edged modernist style.
Mackintosh designed every last detail of the house – fitted furniture, carpets, wall stencils, fireplaces, lighting, and of course the furniture.
Unusually for the period, the walls and ceiling were largely painted white, decorated with painted stencils.
This chair was designed in 1904 for the principal bedroom of the house.
It was clearly intended to make a dramatic silhouette against the white walls where it was placed. Of very light construction, and with a vertical back and small seat, the chair was not made for sitting on, rather it was used as a sculptural and decorative device.
As with other pieces of furniture in the house, the design was a significant shift from the previous more feminine forms that Mackintosh had previously made, towards a more geometric linear approach, undoubtedly influenced by Japanese art and architecture.