Plans for McEwan Hall

Rowand Anderson
University of Edinburgh Buildings Extension, McEwan Hall. Detail, arcade, No. 13.
Gifted in 1976
Special Collections: Coll-31/1/2/1 (94)

Given to the University in 1976 by the architectural firm initially created by Rowand Anderson, this and the other plans that were gifted are a stunning visual and technical record of one of the University’s iconic buildings: The McEwan Hall.

The plans are used by architectural staff and students to explore architectural practice and technique in conjunction with the physical building and provide enhanced teaching, learning and research opportunities with the University’s own built environment.

Sir Robert Rowand Anderson (1834-1921) became Scotland’s leading architect at the end of the 1800s. Born in Edinburgh, Anderson first trained as a lawyer before joining the Army, serving with the Corps of Royal Engineers. After leaving the Army, Anderson completed a course in architecture at the School of the Board of Manufacturers and spent a year in France and Italy studying and drawing Renaissance and medieval architecture. On his return to the UK he worked for the architect Sir George Gilbert Scott before setting up his own architectural practice in Edinburgh.

Anderson is responsible for many of Edinburgh’s great buildings including the Edinburgh Medical School, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Conservative Club in Princes Street and Catholic Apostolic Church. Anderson was knighted for his services to architecture in 1902.

Story by Rachel Hosker, Deputy Head of Special Collections and Archives Manager