University Of Glasgow Boyd Orr Building

University Of Glasgow Boyd Orr Building


The Boyd Orr Building is named for the Nobel laureate Lord Boyd Orr of Brechin (1880-1971), Rector of the University from 1945 to 1947, and Chancellor of the University from 1946 to 1971.

It was designed in 1964 by architects JL Gleave & Partners primarily as a general science building to act as an overflow for the overcrowded departmental buildings largely for first-year students given the projected 50% increase in students during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Sir Eric Ashby, botanist and Master of Clare College, Cambridge, officially opened the £1.25m Boyd Orr building on 3 October 1972.

The interior has been largely refurbished. In 2009-2010, the two main lecture theatres were updated by crgp limited.

University Of Glasgow Boyd Orr Building

Glasgow University Archive Services, Building Photographs

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Boyd Orr Building

The University of Glasgow’s Boyd Orr Building in 1971, photographed from University Place shortly before it opened.

A University development zone was designated north of University Avenue in 1945. The campus area trebled and specialised buildings such as the Adam Smith Building, the Mathematics Building and the Boyd Orr Building were erected during the 1970s. More often than not these buildings were designed with a strong focus on utilitarian concerns, perhaps at the expense of aesthetic considerations.

The Boyd Orr Building is in the centre of the picture, with the Mathematics Building to the right. Above and to the right are the top floors of the Adam Smith Building and the towers of the University Library. Tenements have been cleared from the site in the foreground to make way for residences for nurses and others employed at Glasgow Western Infirmary. These residences were themselves demolished in 2000 and the new Wolfson Medical School building was erected in their place and opened in 2002.