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Cowcaddens, Maitland Street, Scottish Ambulance Service

Ambulance Station (20th Century), Office (20th Century), War Memorial (20th Century)

Site Name Cowcaddens, Maitland Street, Scottish Ambulance Service

Classification Ambulance Station (20th Century), Office (20th Century), War Memorial (20th Century)

Canmore ID 317046

Site Number NS56NE 5009

NGR NS 58881 66132

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/317046

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Glasgow, City Of
  • Parish Glasgow (City Of Glasgow)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District City Of Glasgow
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Site Management (24 November 2010)

3-storey and attic ambulance station and headquarters offices on prominent corner site with distinctive red glass and perspex emblematic cross. Previously 2 linked blocks, link now unobtrusively blocked. Squared and snecked bull-faced stone to ground floor, predominantly white tesserae to overhanging other floors. Bays mostly divided by simple concrete columns. Storeys divided by brown glass panels.INTERIOR: plain to Scottish Ambulance Service building with white tiled garage to ground floor.

An extremely rare, striking and impressive building by the practice of Skinner, Bailey & Lubetkin. Lubetkin (1901-1990), the celebrated pioneer architect of the Modern Movement in Britain, was principally involved in the design of the dominating cross and geometric staircase. One of only two buildings ever constructed in Scotland by Skinner, Bailey & Lubetkin. The building displays an interesting use of materials, including: tesserae, concrete, stone and coloured glass. Lubetkin founded the radical architectural practice Tecton in the 1930s and it was responsible for some of the decade's most outstanding buildings, including the Penguin Pool at London Zoo and Highpoint flats in London. Tecton was disbanded in 1948 and following work on the proposed New Town of Peterlee, Lubetkin formed the partnership of Skinner, Bailey & Lubetkin in 1950, with Lubetkin nominally acting as 'consultant'. Douglas Bailey (1916-1976), a Scot, was the lead architect for the St Andrew's Ambulance Association building. He trained with the Architectural Association in London, had been Lubetkin's deputy at Peterlee and was aware of Tecton's ambitions. Glasgow Corporation offered the St Andrews Ambulance Association the site at Cowcaddens for the Ambulance Association and the St Andrew's and Red Cross Scottish Ambulance Service. The two services were linked by an integrated lower block although the linking door itself has now been blocked up. While the St Andrew's Ambulance Association continues to occupy its half with the principal façade to Milton Street, the Scottish Ambulance Service who took over statutory provision of ambulances in 1974 now occupies the other half to Maitland Street.

The Cowcaddens site is significant as it was specifically planned to contain emergency services within one compact area. This continues today (2004) with the police station and fire station located in adjacent blocks. The contractor Logincon Ltd went into liquidation in 1970 and Drummond Lithgow were appointed to continue the work. The building was opened by HM the Queen Mother on the 26th June 1970 and the plaque then unveiled is located in the main hall. Recreational competitions amongst the emergency service staff and others were a frequent occurrence in the building. The hoist in the main hall was used to assist with setting up emergency situations. (Historic Scotland)

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