1890 – Hartwood Asylum, Glasgow, Scotland

Architect: Campbell Douglas & Sellars



In 1885 a competition held and 10 architects were asked to prepare competitive plans. Illustrated is the Administrative Block of the Campbell Douglas & Sellars entry which was successful. Described as “the buildings… plainly and very substantially built… all architectural decoration having been kept subsidiary to the grouping of the buildings for the efficiency and convenience of administration” (The Herald, 11 May 1895). The cost of the project, which had a capacity of 500 beds, was £152,430 with a further £ 10,000 being spent on furnishings.

The hospital started off with just seventy patients, enforcing a strict “˜no visitors’ policy because of its seclusion and the large numbers of female staff. Treatment there, involving music and drama therapy was considered enlightened for the times.

By the 1950s Hartwood accommodated almost 2,000 patients and was in use until 1998. Today the central block with its ominous twin towers is intact (although boarded up) while many of the surrounding buildings have been demolished.

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