A lesser known Scottish architect? Maybe - but he produced one of the most iconic buildings in all of the Scottish New Towns - East Kilbride's Dollan Baths.
Ranging in date from the late 1940s to the 1990s the architect Alexander Buchanan Campbell’s contribution to the expansion of the Glasgow conurbation and towns in the West of Scotland in the fifties and sixties Includes churches for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Motherwell, schools for the Corporation of Glasgow, and colleges for the Scottish Council for the Training of Teachers.
Dating from c.1961 to 1969 Campbell’s best known project, the Dollan Baths, Brouster Hill, East Kilbride, which was the first Olympic-sized swimming pool to be built in Scotland was constructed principally of pre-stressed concrete. Located on top of Brouster Hill in the Town Centre Park, East Kilbride, the flamboyant structure gives visitors the impression of a marquee as the billowing vaulted 324ft parabolic arch is supported by pairs of concrete buttresses that crash to the ground at a 30° angle. Buchanan Campbell had travelled to Japan before designing the Baths and may have been inspired by the plastic exuberance of Kenzo Tange’s National Gymnasium built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Buchanan Campbell (1914-) was no stranger to working in the new town of East Kilbride; throughout the 1950s he designed a variety of temporary park pavilions and bus shelters for the neighbouring 5th District Council of Blantyre and also East Kilbride itself. East Kilbride was made of several neighbourhood groupings and provision was made for public libraries, shops etc. and it was Buchanan Campbell who designed a library and public hall for the Murray district in East Kilbride (c.1961-1964). It consisted of a rectangular block containing a stage, hall, dressing rooms and committee rooms with a vestibule and entrance hall leading to an octagonal library.
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