W.J. Bassett-Lowke's house at 78 Derngate was extensively remodelled by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1916/1917, utterly transforming the interiors. It is now open to the public as a museum, as "The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House".
Genesis of the house
78 Derngate was given to W.J. Bassett-Lowke by his father as as an advance wedding present, which WJ then proceeded to heavily customise. During the First World War (1914-1918) supply shortages meant that there were legal restrictions on "newbuilds", so W.J. had to restrict his artistic urges and satisfy himself with having the interior of an existing house remodelled. The result was a building that externally looked like just another terraced house, but whose insides had been turned into an anthem to the design sensibilities of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
In the 1920s, the Bassett-Lowkes moved out to a new custom-built house, New Ways. 78 Derngate spent some time as a school building, but was then restored, and with the help of a adjoining property, opened to the public in 2003 as "The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House"
- New Ways (1926) – W.J. Bassett-Lowke's subsequent house, which "inherited" some of the Derngate Mackintosh furniture