Glasgow Daily Photo

A photo a day from Scotland’s biggest city.

Carbuncle

Posted by Jackie on March 16, 2008

Just in case this blog was giving you the impression that Glasgow University is all former churches, dreaming spires and gothic gorgeousness, I thought I’d show you the Adam Smith Building, where my office is based. As you can see, there’s not a dreaming spire in sight (not even a concrete one).

The building is named after well-known eighteenth century Scottish moral philosopher and political economist Adam Smith, probably most famous for his treatise on “the Wealth of Nations”, one of the best-known rationales for free trade and capitalism. He became a student at the University at the age of 14, and later in his life became Lord Rector of the University. I wonder how he’d feel about having such an ugly building named after him all these centuries later!

6 Responses to “Carbuncle”

  1. PK said

    I can’t escape Adam Smith: I’m a science student, but the faculty bang on about him, the Uni’s literature adores him, and the library has about 40000 copies of The Wealth of Nations. Plus, his namesake building is awful.

    Other buildings you could put in this class: the Maths/Stats buildings (no windows!), the Boyd Orr Building (wind tunnel) and the Gregory Building (70s monstrosity with new doors).

  2. Neal said

    It’s funny that the Adam Smith building looks like it was built by communists.

  3. Jackie said

    PK – absolutely. I’d add the main uni library as well to the Grand Concrete Carbuncle Roll of Shame, while we’re at it.

    Neal – hahaha. Actually I’ve said many times the Adam Smith Building is like a microcosm of the Soviet Union. Especially the heating system (where else in the 21st century would you have to call out an engineer to turn a radiator down because there’s no thermostat/control of any description?).

  4. Lara said

    oh, I like better the other side of the Glasgow architecture…

  5. Dan said

    Thanks for the visit to my blog. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I don’t find my impression to be sad but rather I find the situation within the church to be sad. I think postmodernity is playing havoc with the classic theological underpinnings of the orthdox church. Certainly emotional response plays a role in a full-orbed spirituality. However the long-held view that doctrinal truth is a guide to emotion has been replaced by the notion that emotion confirms the truth of doctrine. See for example Jonathan Edwards “On the Religious Affections” or David Wells “No Place for Truth” for a fuller treatise on these notions.

  6. Sally said

    I think it’s fitting a concrete carbuncle like so many inflicted on us in recent decades is named after the person that Thatcherite economists revere as their godhead (even if that’s a total misrepresentation of Smith!)

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