Glasgow University

The History Behind Glasgow University

Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878) was the architect responsible for designing the main Glasgow University buildings on Gilmorehill. Working almost exclusively in the Gothic style, he became one of the most successful architects of his generation. His belief in the supremacy of Gothic over the Classical and Renaissance styles for public and collegiate buildings, together with his often conjectural restorations of medieval churches, often resulted in controversy.

When he was appointed to design Glasgow University, Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson argued that Gothic was a wholly inappropriate style for a modern Scottish educational institution and that Scott’s overworked practice could only produce a second rate design.

After his death, the firm was passed to John Oldrid Scott and later to his grandson, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) who was the architect of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, Waterloo Bridge, Battersea Power Station and the iconic red telephone box.

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