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University of Glasgow, Gilmorehill Campus Building B7, Bower Building

A Category B Listed Building in Hillhead, Glasgow

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8724 / 55°52'20"N

Longitude: -4.2916 / 4°17'29"W

OS Eastings: 256715

OS Northings: 666732

OS Grid: NS567667

Mapcode National: GBR 0CG.3N

Mapcode Global: WH3P2.1NNJ

Entry Name: University of Glasgow, Gilmorehill Campus Building B7, Bower Building

Listing Date: 15 December 1970

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 376109

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB32917

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Glasgow

County: Glasgow

Town: Glasgow

Electoral Ward: Hillhead

Traditional County: Lanarkshire

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Description

John James Burnet with J Oldrid Scott (consultant), 1900; extended, T Harold Hughes, date unknown. 2- and 3-storey university botany teaching building with Scottish Renaissance and Baronial details. 2 parallel rectangular-plan E-W ranges linked by N-S range and glazed-roofed infill; later extensions to E. Squared snecked rubble sandstone; ashlar quoins, plinth and dressings.

ELEVATION TO N: 3-1-3 bays centre breaking forward. Central keystoned, arched entry with rusticated open and broken pedimented doorpiece, sculpted tympanum with Glasgow Coat of Arms, tall window above and crowning broken pediment with sculpture flanked by obelisks. OUTER BAYS: corner corbelled turrets with pepperpot roofs. W bays: overall architraves vertically linked, corniced 1st and 2nd floor windows; tripartites above divided by angled strips with sculpted stops. E bays: 1st 2 bays from E tripartites at ground and 1st floors in vertically linked architraved panels, panelling between floors, cornice stepped up over higher central window; 3rd bay from E as W bays; upper floors as W bays. Remaining elevations, plainer with irregular fenestration using window and turret details of main elevation. Double pile with crowstepped gables and apex stacks; ventilating cupola.

3- and 4-light stone mullioned and transomed sash and case or casement windows.

INTERIOR: largely destroyed by fire in 2001 and reconstructed 2004-5.

Statement of Interest

See separate list descriptions for the nearby structures enclosed by the University Avenue boundary railings, gatepiers and Quincentenary Gates, including the Gilbert Scott Building, The Square, Thomson Building, John McIntyre Building, Pearce Lodge, Lord Kelvin's Sundial and Hunter Memorial.

The Bower Building was designed by the notable architect, John James Burnet. John Oldrid Scott (second son and successor to the architect of the Main Building, George Gilbert Scott) acted as consultant. The Bower Building was badly damaged by fire at the upper levels in October 2001, but repaired and reopened in 2005. The detailing takes its cue not from the main Gilbert Scott Building, but from Pearce Lodge, which incorporates a number of elements from the demolished 17th-century university buildings in the High Street. The contemporary James Watt North Building and Thomson Building were designed in similar style. In preparation for his work at the University and Western Infirmary, Burnet undertook a tour of the USA in 1896 in order to study American laboratory designs.

John James Burnet was one of Scotland's leading architects in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Son of another architect, John Burnet Senior, he trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Burnet was a pioneer of the stylistic move from historicist styles to a tradition-based, but free-style architecture. He developed enormously successful and influential practices in Glasgow and London, designing a number of eminent buildings including the Fine Art Institute, Athenaeum Theatre, Charing Cross Mansions, Atlantic Chambers and Clyde Navigation Trust Offices in Glasgow and the Kodak Building, the second and third phases of Selfridges, Adelaide House, and the King Edward VII Wing at the British Museum in London. Burnet was knighted for the latter project in 1914. Commissions for the University of Glasgow included: the James Watt Engineering Building (1901), Anatomical Building (1900-1), John McIntyre Building (1908), University Chapel (1923-29), Zoology Building (1923), and Hunter Memorial (1925). The neighbouring Glasgow Western Infirmary also employed Burnet Sr and John James Burnet for a number of projects.

The building was opened on 13th June 1901 by Sir Joseph Hooker. It was later named after Frederick Orpen Bower, Professor of Botany from 1885 to 1925, who was responsible for its construction. Originally it contained two large teaching labs, an herbarium, a small library, a museum, a 300-seat lecture theatre, staff offices and a workshop.

Formerly listed as '1E Gilmorehill, University of Glasgow, Department of Botany'.

List description updated as part of review of the University of Glasgow Hillhead Campus, 2011. The building number is derived from the University of Glasgow Main Campus Map (2007), as published on the University's website www.gla.ac.uk.

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