SWITCHBACK ROAD, CANNIESBURN HOSPITAL, ORIGINAL HOSPITAL BLOCKS, LODGE AND PAIR HOUSEBLOCKS (Ref:19256)
This building is in the East Dunbartonshire Council and the
New Kilpatrick Parish.
It is a category B building and was listed on 22/03/1993.
Group Items: N/A,
Group Cat: N/A,
Map Ref: NS 543 710.
Built as an Auxiliary Hospital for Glasgow Royal Infirmary, to designs by James Miller which were prepared possibly as early as circa 1930, though building work begun 1935 and the hospital opened in 1938. Set in an area which in the 1930's was semi-rural/suburban, much less built up than now, though trees and lawns still constitute the immediate environment. Designed to European principles of the inter-War period, utilising 'horizontal' planning (which Miller had introduce to this country at Stirling Hospital - opened 1928), and in a streamlined modern style, the hospital was one of only few such examples of the type built in the country (Astley Ainslie in Edinburgh and Falkirk were others). MAIN COMPLEX: original hospital comprises 3 dissimilar linked 2-storey blocks, all harled with brick plinths and detailing, metal-framed windows with horizontal glazing pattern, flat roofs concealed by parapets. All entrances have deep-canopied hood, including entrances centrally-placed on north front of each block. BLOCK NEAREST WEST, (probably for convalescents) containing wards, has long, symmetrical front having taller 3-storey centre entrance range, linked by continuous 1st floor balconies to projecting end ranges; framed construction, basically a series of narrow uprights dividing the facade, which has huge windows incorporating 'French windows'. To rear, elevations are less generously windowed (except bowed full-height staircase bay at north east), rear wing stepped to slope.
BLOCK NEAREST EAST has deep U-plan front, wings with 3 x 1-bay terminals (fire escape added); construction similar to front of above block but with less use of French Windows, 1st floor balcony with metal (as opposed to concrete) parapet. In centre of courtyard, a long, low and narrow ward added. At rear, low range links to rectangular-plan tall range which has symmetrical north front.
CENTRE BLOCK comprises two tall ranges with single storey link (the latter with west facing entrance); deep therefore, on plan. Front largely obscured at ground by modern addition, but with full-height and fully-glazed staircase bays at ends, flagpoles flanking wide centre 1st floor window.
Near main entrance is the lodge and a pair of 2-storey houseblocks. These are in a neo-Georgian English style; all brick-faced, including flat-arches to windows, piended deep-eaved tile roofs, unrecessed glazing (sash and case, 16 panes).
LODGE has centre ridge stack, 1st floor windows cut through eaves. HOUSEBLOCKS are symmetrical, each one piend-roofed, flat-fronted and rectangular-plan with 6-bay front, wide centre porch, end stacks on projecting chimney breasts.
Post-war blocks all omitted from listing, as is the brick wall fronting main road, and the gatepiers. The idea of providing an auxiliary hospital for the Royal Infirmary was first formally raised in 1925, by James MacFarlane, chairman of the board. In 1926, he and his brother presented to the infirmary the original 22 acre site at Canniesburn; by 1930, a further 9.5 acres had been acquired, and by the time that building began in 1935, the site extended to 40 acres. The hospital provided 120 beds, of which 30 were for convalescent patients from the Royal, the remainder being for paying patients.
At an early stage, the proportion of convalescent beds was increased.
In 1952, 10 beds for plastic surgery patients were introduced, and a new plastic surgery unit, deisgned by John Peters, Assistant Architect to the Western Regional Hospitals Board, opened in May 1968. The other large extension on the site is the geriatric unit, based on the Cameron Unit at Windygates, in Fife, and designed by Frank Burnet, Bell and Partners; its first two wards were opened in June, 1967.
Architect's Journal 3.3.1938. Historic Scotland - Hospitals Study
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