The National Trust for Scotland, Hill House

The National Trust for Scotland engaged Imagineear’s creative expertise to develop digital and physical interpretation projects at the iconic Hill House, a domestic masterpiece by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and commissioned by Glasgow book publisher Walter Blackie in 1902.

Imagineear designed a multifaceted interpretation plan to meet the needs of 3 different spaces: the Guest Dressing Room, the Guest Bedroom and the Day Nursery.

In the Guest Dressing Room, Imagineear scripted and produced a multi-layered, rich immersive audio experience, bringing snippets of Blackie family life to the space as well as memories from Walter Blackie and quotes from Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Imagineear’s research included: exploring archival material, such as letters and memoirs, and speaking to the Glasgow School of Art and a living member of the Blackie family. This formed a core part of the process to create a non-linear audio soundscape that would make sense for visitors whether listening for 30 seconds or lingering for a deeper experience.

A sense of time and place was created through cleverly layered extracts of poetry, music and quotations. These were carefully chosen to reflect the human side of the house and to balance the interests and influence of the four adult protagonists and their inter-relationships.

Imagineear chose to create strong, immersive and engaging visual projections on the wall of the Guest Bedroom.

Imagineear’s design team created strong visual montages, parallax imagery and animations, combining them to produce a high-impact, emotive, engaging and informative video, immersing visitors into a bold and colourful history of the Hill House, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald and the Blackie family.

For the Day Nursery, Imagineear designed a games table and traditional Edwardian games that were reimagined to tell the stories of those who were involved in the design of the Hill House and the family and their staff who lived, worked and played there. To ensure historical accuracy, Imagineear consulted with the German Games Archive in Nuremberg and Pollock’s Toy Museum in London.

Imagineear created bespoke versions of the board game ‘Ups and Downs’ and a construction ‘Card House’ game by drawing on inspiration from original Edwardian versions and the interiors of the Hill House. Contemporary family visitors to the Hill House can experience playing these Edwardian games in the Day Nursery just as the Blackie children once did.

“The Imagineear team were amazing to work with at the Hill House. They were quick to grasp the artistic essence of the house and brought so much creativity to the project to ensure our new audio, film and family interactives were a perfect fit. All the skills and experience they brought – research, scripting, design, audience engagement, film making – have resulted in top quality products that we’re really proud of.”

Emma Inglis, Curator (South & West) for The National Trust for Scotland.