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Anderson, Sir Robert Rowand

Anderson, Sir Robert Rowand (1834–1921). One of the most gifted architects Scotland has produced, he started work in the office of John Lessels (1808–83). Among his buildings are All Saints' Church, Edinburgh (1864–78), the Catholic Apostolic Church, Edinburgh (1871–94), the Medical School (1874–86) and McEwan Hall (1884–90), Edinburgh University, the Central Station Hotel in Glasgow (1878–84), and Govan Parish Church (1884–8): the last is one of the finest works of the Gothic Revival in Scotland. He designed the well-mannered wings and terrace at Pollok House, Glasgow (1890s), and the Pearce Institute, Govan (1903–5). A meticulous conservationist, his sensitive work at e.g. Iona Abbey (1874–6), Paisley Abbey (1898–1907), and Sweetheart Abbey, near Dumfries (1911–14), may be cited. Among his many important designs, Mount Stuart, Rothesay, Bute (from 1878), and the National Portrait Gallery and Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh (1884–9), are of considerable interest. His Revivalism was scrupulous and scholarly: his Central Station Hotel draws on Scandinavian C17 precedents to great effect, while elsewhere his work is clearly influenced by the architecture of his native Scotland. He published works on the medieval architecture of France and Italy (1870–5), and, with others, edited a volume dealing with Scottish architecture from C12 to C17.


McKinstry (1991);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);
Paterson (1921);
Savage (1980)

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