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James Watt Building

Burrell Collection Photo Library, 1955 Survey

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James Watt Building

An excavator at work on the site of the James Watt South Engineering Building, an extension to the Engineering Department at the University of Glasgow, 19 May 1955.

The James Watt South Engineering Building was designed by Keppie, Henderson & Partners and opened on the site of the old "Abbot's Kitchen" chemistry building in 1958. The modernistic glass and concrete structure has been criticised for its graceless bulk and for the way in which it dominates (some say "spoils"!) the view from the east of the neighbouring Gilbert Scott Building. The new building cost £700,000 and was partly funded with donations from local industrialists and engineering and shipbuilding firms.

In 1955 Partick Camera Club set out to create a photographic survey of Glasgow. As the project progressed, other camera clubs joined and each was allocated a district of the city to photograph. Glasgow Museums exhibited the photographs at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and at the People's Place, and in 1956 the exhibition was shown at the Palace of Art in Bellahouston Park. The photographs are now part of Glasgow Museums' collections.

Reference: 1005.97.193 / OG.1955.121.[163]

Reproduced with the permission of the Partick Camera Club

construction sites, cranes, Engineering, excavators, Gilbert Scott Building, Glasgow Photographic Survey 1955, James Watt Building, James Watt South Engineering Building, labourers, navvies, University of Glasgow

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