Pathology, Bacteriology and Immunology Building


The Pathology, Bacteriology and Immunology Building was built from 1894-1896 by John James Burnet. The building was officially opened 14 October 1896 by Sir William Gairdner, Regius Professor of Practice of Medicine from 1862 to 1900 and the first Senior Physician of the Western Infirmary. It is a category C building and was listed on 15 December 1970.

In 1891 the managers of the Western Infirmary saw that the old pathological building could no longer meet the requirements of the infirmary. A special agreement was made that the new Pathology Institute was to be jointly occupied by both the Western and the University. The cost of the building and furnishings was considered to amount to upwards of £15,000 of which the Bellahouston Trustees gave a special donation of £5,000 to help defray the costs.

Burnet used a Scots Renaissance style which could flexibly accommodate the specific needs of the building's plan and reflected the style of many of the University buildings. This contrasted with the earlier hospital buildings of the Western Infirmary built in a Baronial style by his father, John Burnet Sr. Joseph Coats, first Professor of Pathology from 1894 to 1899, acknowledged the highly successful efforts of Mr Burnet to meet the requirements of the institution. When the building opened it contained a lecture-theatre, a post-mortem room, a museum with accommodation for 5,000 preparations on the shelves, a chemical laboratory, rooms for the pathologist and their assistants, a bacteriological laboratory, two large practical classrooms, rooms for private investigation, a large refrigerator, a mortuary and a chapel. In 1912 a new storey for University purposes was added to the building. It comprised six rooms which were utilized chiefly for bacteriological work.

From 1933 to 1935 the building was altered and extended by Norman Aitken Dick of Burnet, Son & Dick in the same Scots Renaissance style employed by John James Burnet. The extension, named the Macgregor Memorial Block, was a single storey building stretching eastward into the courtyard from the main department. Due to a need for expansion the block was demolished and was replaced in 1959 with the new Macgregor Building - a more spacious five-storey building capable of housing the expanded departments of both pathology and bacteriology. In 1989 a boilerhouse stack by Norman A Dick, dated to 1934, was demolished.

The interiors of the Pathology building were largely reworked during the alterations and extensions of the building so that very few of the original architectural details remain. A number of features do survive in corridor and stair areas including a wooden creature wrapped around a stair newel post and wooden lockers.


Pathology, Bacteriology and Immunology Building
78 Church Street
Western Infirmary
Record last updated: 26th Jun 2015