|Glasgow Royal Infirmary||Original Royal Infirmary by Robert and James Adam (see separate entry) was demolished to make way for this new buildings on the site.|
Cost: £224,500. Proposed redevelopment to cost £1.7m
A competition was organised to select the architect for the proposed rebuilding work with Robert Rowand Anderson as the assessor. The results of this competition, generated considerable local controversy, extensively reported in the building press.
'The Glasgow Institute of Architects have forwarded a memorial to the managers of the Royal Infirmary protesting against the action taken in the recent competition; They say: "We attribute the failure not to any lack of zeal on the part of your committee, or of ability on the part of the competing architects, but mainly to the manner in which the competition was initiated and carried through, arid .that in the following respects among others: That along with the printed conditions provided for the competition there were issued two sets of sketch plans as indicative of alternative arrangements which the sub-committee recommended, and which were stated in the accompanying report to be drawn by or under the direction of two members of the sub-committee respectively. 2. That a Jubilee block to be situated on a particular part of the site was insisted upon as an integral part of the scheme. The results of these elements in the conditions were :_(a) That the competitors and the assessor were hampered in the exercise of their individual judgment as to the main points of importance in such a building __vis., the distribution of the various buildings with respect to each other for convenience of working and of all for the freest access of sun and air. (b) That the competitors were placed in the invidious position that, in the event of the schemes recommended by the committee not proving themselves to be in accord with their judgment and experience, they were bound; in departing from them, to meet with disfavour from those influential members of the committee who would enter upon the examination of all the plans with Blinds necessarily biassed in favour of those which they themselves had put forward, while, reserving their position as judges. (c) That as the result, the proposal that plan E be accepted, which became the finding of the meeting, was moved by the gentleman who was actually the author of the scheme which was adopted and worked out in detail by this competitor. 3. That neither of the sketch-plans issued are in accord with the present-day principles of hospital design, as might, indeed, be expected, seeing that their authors have not enjoyed the training which would qualify them as surgical, medical, or architectural experts; that, in fact, the plans are in many vital particulars inadequate and out- of-date, and that these faults are naturally displayed equally in the selected design, which is but an elaboration of one of them. A corroboration of this assertion with regard to the radical faultiness of the plans in question is furnished by the fact that six out of the ten competing architects found it necessary, in spite of risk of possible consequences already alluded to, to entirely throw over the schemes furnished to them, and that among this number are found all the four architects from outside of Glasgow (two from London and two from Edinburgh), who were presumably invited specially on account of their knowledge of hospital design.” The Institute urge the managers, before committing themselves and the public to the erection of any portion of the building, as designed, to have the plans submitted to one or more independent hospital authorities of recognised and outstanding position for consideration and report. They also unanimously lodge a protest against the setting aside by the sub-committee, without any reason given, of the award of the professional assessor, Dr. Rowland Anderson-there so that a simple majority of one was considered sufficient to over-turn his judgment _as to prejudice the success, alike for promoters and architects, 01 future competitions in Glasgow. And they further state that the erection of a Jubilee block. such as is proposed, seven stories high, and in the position selected will, if proceeded with, dwarf and irretrievably injure for all time the external appearance of the cathedral.' [Building News 1 February 1901 Page 154]
GLASGOW ROYAL INFIRMARY RECONSTRUCTION. - A meeting of the executive committee of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary reconstruction scheme was held on Friday. A report by Mr. James Miller, 223, West George_street, the architect whose plans have been adopted, was submitted. He advised that a considerable portion of the permanent buildings should be erected and made ready for occupation before any part of the present structure is demolished, and that the reconstruction should be proceeded with in such a manner that the accommodation of the institution will at no time be less than at present. It was also desirable to avoid as much as possible _the necessity for temporary buildings, which would involve a needless outlay of from £7,000 ·to £8,000. He proposed to erect the north wing or surgical block in the space between the present north block and St. Mungo's College. This block, which was practically a complete infirmary in itself, was 290ft. long, and contained thirteen large wards and twelve small wards, with 224 beds. It would take two years to build. When it was ready to receive patients, those in the present south block would be transferred to it, and the present south block would be demolished, and the building of the Jubilee block could be proceeded with. He suggested that contracts for the Jubilee block should be got out twelve months previous to the completion of the north block, in order to hasten its erection. With the hewn work and materials prepared, he saw no reason why it should not be ready for the roof eight months from the time it was commenced. The Jubilee block will contain 239 beds. On the completion of the Jubilee block, the next portion of the building to be erected would be the central block, which runs north and south, and forms the connecting link between the north and Jubilee blocks. The recommendations were adopted, and a now sub-committee was appointed to confer with the architect and arrange for the reconstruction. [Building News 18 January 1901 Page 86]