Hetherington Building


The Hetherington Building is named for Sir Hector Hetherington (1888-1961), Principal of the University from 1936 to 1961, and currently houses the School of Modern Languages and Cultures.

The building was originally conceived in 1971 as an 'Arts-based' building containing Modern Languages and English. The old Modern Languages Building located on University Gardens (the Sir Alexander Stone Building) was to house the Law Faculty. The building was originally planned in three Phases, creating an enormous triangular building bounded by Bute Gardens, Great George Street, Hillhead Street and Phase II of the Library, but by 1978 the plan was considered too ambitious and the building was scaled back to the rectangular plot fronting Bute Gardens.

In 1979, Dorward, Matheson & Gleave began a feasibility study and sketch plans for the building as a Modern Languages centre. Ivor Dorward was the supervising architect and Sam Russell was the project architect. Approval for the building scheme was granted by the University Grants Committee in February 1981 and listed building consent was granted to demolish the townhouses on Bute Gardens. Consideration had been given to retain the townhouses, but their available floor space fell short of the purpose-built space that could be achieved in a new building. The Hetherington Building is the most recent campus building that required the demolition of nineteenth-century buildings for its construction, the townhouses located at 14 to 22 Bute Gardens were demolished October 1981.

Completed in 1983, the building rejects the alignment of the 1960s Modernist buildings and instead was the first to adopt a Postmodern approach to design, incorporating a variety of historicist details including: a tiled Mansard (steeply sloping) roof, visible half-round gutters, individual windows and buff 'Mitford Silver Grey Rustic' brick walls (the brick was intended to match the colour of the adjacent stone tenements).

In 2009, Hypostyle Architects refurbished the main building and designed a new single storey resource centre addition fronting Great George Street.

In the 26 May 2015 Campus e-news it was announced that The Language Centre & English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Unit held within the School of Modern Languages and Cultures will be changing its name to English for Academic Study (EAS). In line with the change of name from EFL to EAS Librarian Fionna J Black announced in the 3 August 2015 Campus e-news that the Language Centre Library (LCL), located within the Hetherington Building, would now be known as the Language Resource Library (LRL). This name reflects the variety of resources and facilities available such as a bookable screening room, extensive foreign cinema collection and self-study courses in over 50 languages.


Hetherington Building
Bute Gardens
G12 8RS
Record last updated: 5th Aug 2015

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