Quiet, please... (Print 1951 GLASGOW UNIVERSITY READING ROOM)
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WHEN the architect Harold Hughes died in November 1949, the GlasgowHerald spoke of his distinguished academic pursuits, which included posts in Glasgow and Aberdeen. Before his resignation on the grounds of ill-health in 1942, he had been, for 20 years, director of studies at the Glasgow School of Architecture. He had also carried out important extensions to some public buildings and to colleges at the universities of Glasgow and Oxford. His main work at the former had been the round reading-room, which he had designed with the help of his architectural partner, David Waugh. According to the university website, the previous reading room had been unable to cope with student demand, so plans and finance were put in place for a new one. Hughes and Waugh designed the replacement between 1936 and 1939. The new room, renamed the McMillan Reading Room in memory of university benefactors Robert and Edith McMillan, was designed to meet the primary needs of students in first and second year courses while having the longest opening hours of any unit in the university’s library system.
In 1950, the year after Hughes’s death, the A-listed building was awarded a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) bronze medal for the best building to have been erected in Scotland in the period 1936-1949.
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