High on its hillside site, the house has a gaunt look of rural austerity. There is a Scottishness here more convincing than all the castellar allusions of baronial architecture. Harled and slated, this is the first major residential commission (1899-1901) carried out by Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928). If the west elevation is stark and calm, from the east, seen across an undulating whinstone wall, the house is enlivened by a greater articulation of form. To the left, re-asserting indigenous affinities, an asymmetrical gable advances; to the right, a staircase block, round-ended and parapetted, seems to anticipate the Modernist repertoire of Le Corbusier. In perfect counterpoint to such simplicity, Mackintosh’s interiors are a delight – delicate, attenuated, exquisite.

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