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Basic Site Details

Name: University of Edinburgh, David Hume Tower (Arts Building) and redevelopment of George Square
City or county: Edinburgh, Midlothian
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 2Faculty building  
Item 2 of 2University  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 1George Square  


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 925 February 1959 Scheme acceptedGeorge Sq. Faculty of Arts buildings, incl. 14-storey block, approved in principle by Edinburgh Corporation Planning Committee per Builder 6 Mar 1959 p477
Item 2 of 96 March 1959 Scheme acceptedEdinburgh Corporation Planning Committee approved in principle; incl. 14-storey block at George-sq. and closure of certain streets; work in three stages; car parks included
per Builder p477-478
Item 3 of 919601963Build/construction 
Item 4 of 9January 1960 ProposedArts faculty - Stage I - 170,000 (proposed total Exchequer grant), 80,000 (instalment of grant required for 1960-61 to complete project) per Builder 1 Apr 1960 p654
Item 5 of 91 April 1960 Scheme acceptedEdinburgh Planning Committee recommends approval of scheme to the Town Council per Builder p675
Item 6 of 930 September 1960 Build/constructionfoundation work to start in November at cost of 30,000; 14-storey tower to accommodate Modern and Oriental Languages, English Lit, Classics and Philosophy will be 150 ft. high of reinforced concrete faced with glass, aluminum, slate and stone at est. cost of 500,000 per Builder p636
Item 7 of 9November 1960 Destruction/demolitionDemolition of the older square has been in progress since November 1960.
Item 8 of 918 November 1960 Contract offered30,000 contract for foundation work awarded to Crudens Ltd, Musselburgh; first phase of 1 mil. arts tower scheduled to be complete by 1962, with later phases into 1966 per Builder p956
Item 9 of 91962 Build/constructionA new 14 storey building for Edinburgh University Arts Department. 150 feet high in r.c. faced with glass, aluminium slate and stone.


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 5Euan Kidston ColamArchitectA19601961As assistant architect with RMJM.
Item 2 of 5Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall (RMJM)Architectural practiceA19601961Continued under subsequent practice title
Item 3 of 5Blyth & BlythArchitectural practice 18 November 1960 per Builder p956
Item 4 of 5Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall & Partners (RMJM)Architectural practiceA19611963 
Item 5 of 5John Deacon RichardsArchitectAc. 1960 Richards succeeded Steedman as Matthew's chief assistant (and later project architect) for the project.

Related Buildings, Structures and Designs

Parent Structure and Site

This structure is related to the following parent structure or site (click the item to view details):
 Building nameNotes
Item 1 of 1University of Edinburgh, George Square Redevelopment 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 4Glendinning, M, MacInnes, R and MacKechnie, A1996A History of Scottish Architecture  p447
Item 2 of 4Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp16
p165-7 University of Edinburgh George Square Redevelopment
Item 3 of 4Glendinning, Miles2008Modern architect: the life and times of Robert Matthew RIBA Publishingpp251-57
Item 4 of 4West, T W1967A history of architecture in Scotland Londonp189

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 11Builder6 March 1959  'University Block Approved' p477
Item 2 of 11Builder6 March 1959  p477-478
Item 3 of 11Builder19 June 1959  'George Square, Edinburgh' p1079
Item 4 of 11Builder1 April 1960  'University Building Projects' p654; summarizes Civil Estimates for Education, 1960-1961, published on March 18
Item 5 of 11Builder1 April 1960  'George Square Development' p675
Item 6 of 11Builder15 April 1960  'Edinburgh AA Year Book' p727; year book no 4, 1960 includes full account of George Square project
Item 7 of 11Builder30 September 1960  'University Development Award' p636
Item 8 of 11Builder18 November 1960  p956
Item 9 of 11Builder9 February 1962  p324
Item 10 of 11Concrete Quarterly1964  'New buildings in Scottish universities' Franck, N (1964)
April- June 1964
Item 11 of 11Prospect1990  p13
Spense, I (1990) 'Observations on controls and influences'

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 1Courtesy of Euan ColamInterview of Euan Colam by Kirsten McKee 3 December 2008


© All rights reserved.   

© All rights reserved.  

© All rights reserved.   

© All rights reserved.