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Albyn Place, Harlaw Academy, Including Gatepiers and Boundary Walls

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1425 / 57°8'32"N

Longitude: -2.117 / 2°7'1"W

OS Eastings: 393015

OS Northings: 805735

OS Grid: NJ930057

Mapcode National: GBR S8S.K4

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.GQ3W

Entry Name: Albyn Place, Harlaw Academy, Including Gatepiers and Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 12 January 1967

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354529

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20083

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: Hazlehead/Queens Cross/Countesswells

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Archibald Simpson, 1837-1840, central block; E and W pavilions circa 1830; additions to S, W J Smith & Kelly, 1892; S wing and links to pavilions J A O Allan, 1902; later additions and alterations. 2-storey central block flanked by 2-storey basement and attic links and pavilions forming shallow U-plan courtyard; 4-storey block to S; 2-storey S wing linked by single storey corridor. Grey granite ashlar central block and links; remainder predominantly tooled coursed granite finely finished to margins. Ashlar base course and eaves courses to central block and links; rough-faced base course to remainder; eaves blocking course. Variety of strip quoins and long and short quoins; panelled and glazed timber doors.

CENTRAL BLOCK:

Archibald Simpson, 1837-1840.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 2-storey, 9-bay, symmetrical. 3 central bays slightly advanced with pilasters through ground and 1st floors supporting entablature and deep eaves blocking course stepped up to centre; round-arched architraved doorway with keystone motif reached by stone steps to centre of ground floor, 2-leaf panelled door with glazed upper panes, fanlight, window to centre of 1st floor above, regular fenestration to flanking bays to left and right; single bays flanking to left and right, regular fenestration to ground and 1st floors of each; 2 pedimented bays advanced to outer left and right, regular fenestration to ground and 1st floors of each.

E AND W ELEVATIONS: obscured by links to pavilions (see below).

S ELEVATION: enclosed by small courtyard; harled centre bays, flanked by single bays to left and right, single windows recessed in segmental arches to ground floor, single windows to 1st floor; pedimented bays flanking to left and right obscured by flat-roofed 20th century corridor links to S block (see below).

LINKS:

J A O Allan, 1902.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 2-storey, basement and attic links to pavilions flanking central block to E and W. E Link: 6-bay; 5-bay assembly hall stepped forward to right, tall windows through ground and 1st floors set in recessed planes to each bay, sky-lights to attic floor; recessed bay adjoining central block to left, single storey flat-roofed addition to re-entrant angle at ground floor, single window to centre, architraved doorway to left return with 2-leaf panelled door, window to recessed 1st floor. W Link: 7-bay; 6-bay block stepped forward to left, regular fenestration to basement, ground and 1st floors of each bay, glazed doorway to outer left, skylight to centre of attic floor; recessed bay adjoining central block to right, single storey flat-roofed entrance to re-entrant angle to right at ground floor, single window to centre, architraved doorway to right return with 2-leaf panelled door, window to recessed 1st floor.

E AND W ELEVATIONS: obscured by adjoining central block and pavilions.

S ELEVATION: not seen 2000..

EAST PAVILION:

Circa 1830. 2-storey, basement and attic; 6-bay.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical; 2-central bays slightly advanced, tetrastyle Greek Doric porch to ground floor, reached by stone steps, 2-leaf glazed timber door to centre of ground floor with glazed panels surrounding, 2 windows to 1st floor above; 2 bays flanking to left and right, regular fenestration to each; modern rectangular dormer and skylights to attic floor.

W ELEVATION: 4-bay; regular fenestration to ground and 1st floors, rectangular dormer to attic. Adjoins link to outer right.

S ELEVATION: not seen 2000.

E ELEVATION: 3-bay; regular fenestration to each floor; rectangular dormer to attic floor. Single storey flat-roofed entrance porch advanced to outer left.

WEST PAVILION:

Circa 1830. 2-storey, basement and attic; 3-bay.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical; tetrastyle Tuscan porch to ground floor, reached by stone steps, 2-leaf glazed timber door to centre of ground floor with glazed panels surrounding, broad tripartite window to 1st floor above; regular fenestration to basement ground and 1st floors of flanking bays to left and right; 4-light rectangular dormer and skylight to attic floor.

W ELEVATION: 4-bay; regular fenestration to each floor, flat-roofed entrance advanced to outer right. Later addition and South Block adjoining (see below).

S ELEVATION: obscured by adjoining South Block.

E ELEVATION: 4-bay doorway to bay to left of ground floor, regular fenestration to remainder, broad skylight to attic floor. Adjoins link to outer left.

SOUTH BLOCK:

Predominantly Smith & Kelly, 1892; extended and remodelled 20th century. Adjoins central block to S. 3 and 4-storey.

N ELEVATION: linked to central block by 2 modern flat-roofed corridors, predominantly not seen 2000.

W AND E ELEVATIONS: obscured by 20th century additions; irregular fenestration.

S ELEVATION: 13-bay main block near-centre, Smith & Kelly; bay to centre of ground floor stepped forward, 3-light canted window surmounting to 1st floor, predominantly regular fenestration to remaining bays of ground, 1st and 2nd floors, except 2 bays to outer right, 2 windows enlarged to form 1; 4th floor largely remodelled, original bipartite window to centre; 3 broad windows flanking to left, 2 stepped back windows to outer right. 2 20th century stair bays flanking main block to left and right, tall vertical window to each, ground floor of bay to left obscured by adjoining corridor to S wing (see below). 3-storey, 4-bay block stepped down to outer right, regular fenestration; 4-storey, 8-bay block adjoining to left with regular fenestration to each floor, enclosed by stair tower to outer left tall vertical window; 3-storey 2-bay block to outer left, regular fenestration.

SOUTH WING:

J A O Allan, 1902; later additions and alterations. 2-storey 17-bay wing adjoining South Block with single storey corridor.

N ELEVATION: symmetrical; 3 central bays advanced with 4-light windows to centre of ground and 1st floors, flanked to left and right by regular fenestration; 7 bays flanking to left and right, regular fenestration to each floor, corridor linking wing to South Block to 4th bay from right; late 20th century addition to outer left.

W ELEVATION: asymmetrical; 2-bay block to left with 2 horizontal windows to ground floor, round-arched doorway to re-entrant angle to right, with window above; harled bay flanking to right; gymnasium and later additions recessed to right.

S ELEVATION: variety of additions and alterations adjoining boundary wall (see below).

E ELEVATION: predominantly obscured by late 20th century addition.

12-pane timber sash and case windows to central block; replacement lying-pane PVCu windows to remainder. Piended grey slate roofs with lead ridges. Cast-iron rainwater goods with decorative top hoppers. Variety of coped stacks and vents.

INTERIOR: geometrically-leaded stained-glass doorway to central entrance hall with glazed 2-leaf door, some cornicing survives; replacement doorway leads to inner hall, cornicing with decoratively scrolled brackets; round arched doorways to left and right. Remainder of interior remodelled, stairs and many of doors with circular glazed panel inset survive; 3-storey open lightwell to E pavilion; assembly hall to W link, stage to W, balcony to E, moulded ceiling.

GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALLS: coped granite rubble boundary walls to S, square-plan coped gatepiers, some with shallow pyramidal caps; various infilled doorways.

Statement of Interest

Described by G M Fraser as "one of his [Archibald Simpson's] most distinctive buildings". Harlaw Academy was designed by Simpson for Mrs Elmslie, a widow from London who put aside ?40,000 for the erection and endowment of a hospital for orphan and destitute girls. The building was opened on the 19th of November 1840 by the Lord Provost Sir Thomas Blackie. The main block of what is now Harlaw Academy, is elegantly proportioned with virtually no unnecessary detail. Simpson's original design shows a sculptured group on the blocking course over the entrance bay, however this does not appear to have been executed. Formerly known as High School for Girls. The school was extended in 1892 and 1902 by Smith & Kelly and J A O Allan respectively. In 1902 the corridors were built to link the original school to the slightly earlier flanking villas.

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