Jordanhill Demonstration School

M325 Jordanhill Demonstration School

Address: 45, Chamberlain Road, Glasgow G13 1SP
Date: 1912–20
Client: Glasgow Provincial Committee for the Training of Teachers
Authorship: Authorship category 3 (Office with Mackintosh) (Office with Mackintosh)

In 1911 the Glasgow Provincial Committee for the Training of Teachers announced a competition for a new Training College, associated Demonstration School (for teaching practice) and a student hostel, all on one site at Jordanhill, N.W. of Glasgow. Mackintosh's departure from Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh occurred during the competition. Anecdotal evidence suggests this was due in part to his failure to produce suitable and complete drawings for the three buildings. 1

Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh were awarded the commission for the Demonstration School. Their three-storey, symmetrical, Edwardian classical design, with classrooms arranged largely on the S. side of a single, long corridor, was probably made by Andrew Graham Henderson, and was published in the Builder in July 1913, alongside H. & D. Barclay's successful design for the Training College and Andrew Balfour's for the hostel. 2 Though apparently inspired by Mackintosh's planning at Scotland Street School and other linear-plan Glasgow Board schools built in the interim, there is no evidence to suggest that Mackintosh made any direct contribution to the successful design. 3 In July 1914 plans were drawn up for the approval of Glasgow Dean of Guild Court.

Colour photograph of ground-floor plan, 'Builder', 11 July 1913, p. 38ffColour photograph of first-floor plan, 'Builder', 11 July 1913, p. 38ffColour photograph of second-floor plan, 'Builder', 11 July 1913, p. 38ffColour photograph of N. and S. elevations, 'Builder', 11 July 1913, p. 38ff

Mackintosh does however appear to have been involved in the early stages of the competition process. On 10 February 1913 he attended a meeting of the six architects invited to participate and the Chairman's sub-committee. No preliminary designs by Mackintosh survive, but the work he did was remunerated later. On 3 April 1916 a payment from the Provincial Committee is recorded in the practice cash book. The following line reads: 'received 350, JK took for Mackintosh 250'. 4

The practice cashbook also records the departure of Mackintosh from the partnership with John Keppie at the beginning of 1914: 'Honeyman & Keppie / CRM left 31 Dec 1913'. 5

Mackintosh's departure, which potentially invalidated the practice's provisional agreement with the Glasgow Provincial Committee, was reported in the Committee Chairman's sub-committee minutes on 14 January 1914 with the assurance that 'Mr Keppie would carry on the business from that date under the name of Honeyman & Keppie. It has been arranged between the partners of the latter firm that Mr Keppie should undertake the work in connection with the Demonstration School.' 6 The contract for the Demonstration School was signed by Keppie and members of the Provincial Committee on 18 May 1914. 7

In an interview in 1973, Mary Newbery Sturrock, daughter of Francis H. ('Fra') Newbery and Jessie Newbery nee Rowat, suggested that at the time of his departure from Glasgow, Mackintosh had been working on designs for the 'Dough School', the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science. It is possible that 60 years after the event Mrs Sturrock may have confused the College of Domestic Science with the Jordanhill Training College competition. No evidence of Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh's participation in the College of Domestic Science competition, held in 1912–13, has been traced. 8

Notes:

1: Thomas Howarth, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Modern Movement, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 2nd edn, 1977, p. 195.

2: Glasgow, New Training College', Builder, 11 July 1913, pp. 38ff. Anecdotal evidence attributes the Demonstration School design to Henderson: 'Andrew Graham Henderson', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, 1840–1980, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 20 March 2012]; Thomas Howarth, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Modern Movement, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 2nd edn, 1977, p. 195.

3: For Glasgow Board School plans, see Sarah L. Hamilton, 'The Architecture and Impact of the School Boards in Glasgow', Architectural Heritage, 24, 2012, pp. 115–36.

4: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: John Honeyman & Keppie / Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh / Keppie Henderson cash book 1889–1917, GLAHA 53079, p. 176.

5: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: John Honeyman & Keppie / Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh / Keppie Henderson cash book 1889–1917, GLAHA 53079, p. 165.

6: Strathclyde University Archives: Glasgow Provincial Committee for the Training of Teachers minutes 1914, Chairman's sub-committee, JCE/1/1, 14 January 1914.

7: Strathclyde University Archives: Glasgow Provincial Committee for the Training of Teachers, minute of agreement between Glasgow Provincial Committee and John Keppie, architect of the Demonstration School, JCE/7/3/6, 18 May 1914.

8: June Bedford and Ivor Davies, 'Remembering Charles Rennie Mackintosh': a recorded interview with Mary Newbery Sturrock, Connoisseur, 183, August 1973, p. 286; 'Queen's College; Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science; St Andrew's Teachers' Training College', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, 1840–1980, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 7 February 2013]. No evidence of Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh participating in the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science competition has been found thus far by Glasgow Caledonian University archivists .