Basic Site Details

Name: Glasgow Royal Infirmary
City or county: Glasgow
Country: Scotland
Status: B listed
Grid ref:
Notes: 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]

Building Type Classification

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

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 2106, Castle StreetYes 
Item 2 of 282-92, Castle Street  


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 919001901Competition held 
Item 2 of 91901 Design exhibitedTiltman design
Item 3 of 919071909 Surgical block
Item 4 of 91912  Central administration and special diseases block
Item 5 of 91914  Jubilee block
Item 6 of 91936  New windows by Henry Hope & Sons
Item 7 of 9December 1950 Alteration/conversionPlans to be prepared for alterations at the Royal Infirmary, Castle Street
Item 8 of 910 June 1966 Scheme acceptedRedevelopment of Royston / Gorbals / Laurieston areas, for £71m approved by Secretary of State. Rebuilding the Royal Infirmary was part of this proposal put forward by the City Council
Item 9 of 928 October 1966 ProposedPart of site for development purchased by City Council via compulsory purchase order.


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 51(Sir) John William Simpson  1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 2 of 51Alexander Nisbet Malcolm  1900 Plans drawn up for report by Sir Henry Burdett and Dr D J Mackintosh (perhaps via Clarke & Bell?)
Item 3 of 51Edwin Thomas Hall  1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 4 of 51Henry Edward Clifford  1900 First premiated competition design, recommended by RR Anderson as assessor, but job went to Miller
Item 5 of 51Hippolyte Jean Blanc  1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 6 of 51John Archibald Campbell  1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 7 of 51Malcolm Stark  1900 Unsuccessful competition design
Item 8 of 51James Carruthers Walker A19001914(?)As chief assistant to James Miller
Item 9 of 51James Miller A19001914Received commission despite not winning competition
Item 10 of 51Leiper & McNab C1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 11 of 51William Hunter McNab C1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 12 of 51William Leiper C1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 13 of 51John Thomson D1900 Competition design - placed second
Item 14 of 51Robert Douglas Sandilands D1900 Competition design - placed second
Item 15 of 51Thomson & Sandilands D1900 Competition design - placed second
Item 16 of 51Baird & Thomson E1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 17 of 51James Thomson E1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 18 of 51Alexander Barr Morrison F1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 19 of 51Campbell Douglas F1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 20 of 51Campbell Douglas & Morrison F1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 21 of 51Arthur George Sydney Mitchell G1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 22 of 51George Wilson G1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 23 of 51Sydney Mitchell & Wilson G1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 24 of 51Alfred Waterhouse H1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 25 of 51Alfred Waterhouse & Son H1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 26 of 51Paul Waterhouse H1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 27 of 51Alfred Hessel Tiltman I1900 Competition design - unsuccessful. Placed second by assessor
Item 28 of 51James William Crawford I1900 Probably assisted Alfred Hessell Tiltman on unsuccessful competition design - but may have assisted him on Eastern District Hospital
Item 29 of 51Henry Mitchell J1900 Third premiated competition design - in collaboration with Thomas Lennox Watson
Item 30 of 51Thomas Lennox Watson J1900 Third premiated competition design - in collaboration with Henry Mitchell
Item 31 of 51(Sir) John James Burnet K1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 32 of 51John Burnet & Son K1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 33 of 51Henry Hall L1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 34 of 51K D Young & Hall L1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 35 of 51Keith Downes Young L1900 Competition design - unplaced
Item 36 of 51James Carrick A1901 As assistant to James Miller
Item 37 of 51H Percy Adams S1901 Unsuccessful competition entry.
Item 38 of 51George Arthur Boswell A1902(?)1905(?)As assistant to James Miller
Item 39 of 51William John Brockie Wright A19081912As assistant to James Miller
Item 40 of 51Wylie, Shanks & Wylie  1950 To prepare plans for alterations
Item 41 of 51James Beveridge S1960s1970sPartner in charge
Item 42 of 51John Hardie Glover S1960s1970sRedevelopment
Item 43 of 51John Hardie Glover S1960s1970sRedevelopment
Item 44 of 51Keith Charles Day S1960s Redevelopment - working for Sir Basil Spence, Glover & Ferguson
Item 45 of 51Ove Arup & Partners S1960s1970sRedevelopment
Item 46 of 51Peter Scott Ferguson S1960s Redevelopment
Item 47 of 51Sir Basil Spence, Glover & Ferguson S1960s1970sRedevelopment
Item 48 of 51Thomas ('Tom') Ridley S1960s1970sconsultant, for Arup
Item 49 of 51Andrew Merrylees S1970s Redevelopment
Item 50 of 51Richard Ross Forbes Cassidy S1970s Worked on fire precautions
Item 51 of 51William ('Bill') Moncrief S1970s Redevelopment - working for Sir Basil Spence, Glover & Ferguson

Related Buildings, Structures and Designs

Child Structures

This structure or site has the following component or child structures (click on an item to view details):
 Building NameNotes
Item 1 of 10Glasgow Blind AsylumTower sculpture by Charles B Grassby of Glasgow. This includes the canopied niche.
Item 2 of 10Glasgow Infirmary Block G Pathological1909 Architect J Miller Blythswood Square
Item 3 of 10Glasgow Royal Infirmary Block F Special DiseasesPart of the phased reconstruction of the Hospital commenced in 1901. Note that this is the name given at the time of tender and may have changed subsequently.
Item 4 of 10Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Accident and Emergency Block 
Item 5 of 10Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Jubilee Block 
Item 6 of 10Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Lister Lecture Theatre 
Item 7 of 10Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Nurses' Home 
Item 8 of 10Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Pathology DepartmentCost of 1957 work: £62,320.
Cost of late-1960s Philip Cocker work: £55,000.
Item 9 of 10Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Robert and James Dick Block 
Item 10 of 10Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Templeton Block 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 11Academy Architecture1901 part 1 p80
Item 2 of 11Academy Architecture1901 Part 2 pp26-28 (Tiltman competition design)
Item 3 of 11Academy Architecture1902 part 1 p82 (Clifford design)
Item 4 of 11Graves, Algernon1905The Royal Academy of Arts: a complete dictionary of exhibitors and their works…1905-6London: Graves and Bell1901, no 1627
Item 5 of 11Harper, Roger H1983Victorian Architectural Competitions: An Index to British and Irish Architectural Competitions… London: Mansell Publishing 
Item 6 of 11Moss, Russel and Jenkinson1994The History of Glasgow Royal Infirmary 1794-1994   
Item 7 of 11Patricia, John A Short History of Glasgow Royal Infirmary   
Item 8 of 11RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 9 of 11Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts1901   727 & 744
Item 10 of 11RSA1917   528 (Miller)
Item 11 of 11Williamson, Riches, Higgs1990Glasgow (The Buildings of Scotland)  pp146-7

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 25Architect24 June 1882   
Item 2 of 25British Architect4 January 1901  p5
Item 3 of 25British Architect18 January 1901  p51
Item 4 of 25British Architect1 February 1901  p71 and 85 - continued correspondence
Item 5 of 25British Architect5 July 1901  p3 and 6 Letter from Glasgow Institute of Architects concerning the settting aside of the decision of the assessor, Dr Rowand Anderson.
Item 6 of 25Builder1879  p 186 [clocktower]
Item 7 of 25Builder29 December 1900LXXIX p592
Item 8 of 25BuilderEarly 1900LXXVIII p62
Item 9 of 25Builder12 January 1901  p42 and p44
Item 10 of 25Builder12 January 1901LXXX Miller's work
Item 11 of 25Builder2 February 1901LXXX p114 for HE Clifford's entry and illustrations, plans, elevations, perspective etc
Item 12 of 25Builder16 March 1901LXXX p226 Stark & Rowntree's design and illustration
Item 13 of 25Builder11 May 1901  p468- Tiltman's design and illustrations plans etc.
Item 14 of 25Builder18 May 1907XCII pp604-6
Item 15 of 25Builder1 December 1950  p582
Item 16 of 25Building10 June 1966  p185
Item 17 of 25Building28 October 1966  p168
Item 18 of 25Building News11 January 1901  p57. J Hessel Tiltman's entry p58 and illustrations
Item 19 of 25Building News18 January 1901  p86 James Miller formally appointed despite continued fall-out from the competition; p89 H Percy Adams entry - and illustrations
Item 20 of 25Building News25 January 1901  p123 Tiltman's design and further illustrations
Item 21 of 25Building News1 February 1901  p154; p157 for H Percy Adams entry and further illustrations
Item 22 of 25Building News5 July 1901  p8 Letter from Glasgow Institute of Architects concerning the settting aside of the decision of the assessor, Dr Rowand Anderson.
Item 23 of 25Glasgow HeraldJune 1901  Letters about competition, check date
Item 24 of 25Glasgow Herald21 December 1901  Miller's design
Item 25 of 25Scotsman25 February 2012  p47: obituary of Tom Ridley

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 7Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register32650 
Item 2 of 7National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSLorimer and Matthew Collection LOR G/58
Item 3 of 7RIAS Collection, NMRS, RCAHMSJames Miller, Son & Manson Drawings Collection 97 drawings
Item 4 of 7RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers George Arthur Boswell: L v16 no1132; James Carrick: L v6 no342 (microfiche reel 31); James William Crawford: L v23 no1892 ('General Hospital Glasgow'); Alexander Nisbet Malcolm: L v19 no1446; James Carruthers Walker: L v21 no1649; William John Brockie Wright: L v23 no1832
Item 5 of 7Sent to DSA by emailInformation from AHRC/RCAHMS Spence project per David W Walker and Clive Fenton Clive Fenton's research notes (sent July 2010): information on Keith Day's and Bill Moncrieff's involvement
Item 6 of 7Strathclyde Regional ArchivesGlasgow Dean of Guild D-TC 13/4977 A-G and TD-972
Item 7 of 7Strathclyde Regional Archives (Mitchell Library)Strathclyde Regional Archives PA 11/2/II/18 (1916 report on new building)