Located in the village of Kimacolm, close to the Firth of Clyde and 20 miles west of Glasgow, is Windyhill, one of only three houses built by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
For only the fourth time in its history the ultimate collectable
for enthusiasts of the Glasgow Style is on the market with offers
invited in excess of £3m.
When owner David Cairns bought the Grade A listed property 12
years ago it was in poor condition with its period features either
removed or decorated over. It has been a labour of love to see the
seven-bedroom house returned to its 1902 condition and style.
Mackintosh was commissioned to build
Windyhill in 1900 for William Davidson, the merchant who became one
of his lifelong supporters.
What really sets the property apart from Mackintosh's other
commercial projects is Windyhill's adherence to the strong
traditions of Scottish baronial architecture, including an L-shaped
plan, harled (weatherproofed) exterior, unadorned window openings,
steeply pitched slate roofs and chimneys at the gable ends.
The garden is over two acres and still true to Mackintosh's
original design, including four distinct spaces and a lily pond
into which the architect jumped when a fake beard he wore during
Christmas high jinks caught fire.
Mackintosh and his wife, Margaret MacDonald, had complete
control over the Windyhill project, designing the furniture,
fireplaces, panelling, stained glass and light fixtures - a typical
blend of strong right angles and floral-inspired decorative motifs.
Pamela Robertson, senior curator at the Hunterian art gallery and
museum in Glasgow, describes the house as "Mackintosh's first essay
into the room as a work of art".
Mr Cairns - who would not have described himself as a collector
of Scottish Arts and Crafts prior to the purchase of Windyhill -
oversaw all of the renovation work with the input of the Glasgow
School of Art and the Hunterian. Some of the original furnishings
were traced in dramatic circumstances. The dining room and bedroom
light fittings were retrieved via the Scotland Yard Antiques
Recovery Department, while a raid by the NYPD on a house in New
Jersey unearthed other original Windyhill lights. Leaded glass
panels were returned to the house after they emerged at auction in
Whenever original elements had not survived, these have been
remade by approved craftsmen, while space was found for occasional
21st century 'essentials', including Bose surround sound and an Aga
in the kitchen.
With the help of Euan Mundy, the Glasgow art dealer and advisor,
Mr Cairns hung paintings by the Scottish Colourists and John
Quinton Pringle - similar to the works collected by the first owner
William Davidson - and decorated with Wemyss pottery.
Charlie Smith of London Real Estate Advisors, who are handling
the sale in conjunction with Ballantynes, said: "Windyhill really
is one of the most important 20th century houses to come to the
market in recent years.
"The property is more than just a house. I wouldn't be surprised
if it sold to an art collector, or an architectural
Interior and exterior views of C.R. Mackintosh's Windyhill, on
the market for £3m.
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