Pioneering Scottish architect recognised by Historic Scotland
24 July 2007
Three striking buildings have been given statutory protection following a review
of the work of Scottish modernist architect Peter Womersley.
High Sunderland, the Rig and the Garlton unit at Hermandflat Hospital have all been
listed by Historic Scotland in recognition of their regional and national importance.
Dr Deborah Mays, Historic Scotland head of listing, said: “Each of these buildings
is visually striking and immediately recognisable as the work of Womersley.
“Scotland, and Galashiels in particular, should be immensely proud of Womersley.
People often assume that listed buildings should be made of stone and be very traditional, but it is
vital that modern architecture is protected too.
“It demonstrates that Scotland continues to produce exceptional designers, builders
and engineers who move beyond accepted ideas and challenge what we expect from our homes, offices and
Womersley also designed the football stadium in his hometown of Galashiels. The
Gala Fairydean ground was listed in 2006 during a resurvey of the area by Historic Scotland listing
Womersley’s work is recognised across Europe for his use of concrete, glass and
colour to create dramatic shapes that go beyond the purely functional.
High Sunderland is an example of this, marrying modernist design and warmth to create
a family home for his friend the textile designer Bernat Klein.
Mr Klein said: “Peter Womersley, with whose work we were familiar, was a close friend
whose gifts as an architect we formed the highest opinion. The A listing of one of his buildings would
have pleased him very much, as indeed it pleases us.
“High Sunderland, built on a very modest budget, remains, to our minds, a unique
and practical example of intellectual awareness applied to daily living.”
Dr Mays added: "Once a building is listed, consent is needed to make alterations.
This ensures that any change is managed carefully and the character and setting of the building is preserved
to be enjoyed by present and future generations.”
Notes for Editors
- High Sunderland in Galashiels is listed at category A. The Rigg in
Melrose and Garlton Unit of Hermanflat Hospital in Haddington are category B. Copies of the list
description can be requested from Lesley Brown on 0131 668 8603 or by emailing Lesley.email@example.com.
- Historic Scotland is responsible on behalf of Scottish Ministers for compiling
and maintaining Lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest under the Planning
(Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997. To conserve the character of Scotland’s
built heritage, listing affords statutory protection, ensuring proper examination of planning applications
to demolish, alter or extend listed buildings. For more information on listing visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/listing.
- There are three categories of listings: Category A - of national or international
importance, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, or building type; Category B
- of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style of building
type which may have been altered. Category C (S) - of local importance, lesser examples of any
period, style or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and traditional buildings
which group well with others in categories A and B or are part of a planned group such as an estate
or industrial complex.
- There are around 47,000000 listed buildings in Scotland and more than 150
post-war structures are listed. The earliest post-war listings include the David Marshall Lodge,
Aberfoyle (designed in 1958 by James Shearers), and the Spean Bridge Commando Memorial (designed in
1951 by Scott Sutherland). The ‘youngest’ post-war building to be protected is the former Cummins diesel
factory at Shotts (now Centrelink 5) which was designed by Ahrends Burton and Koralek, with Ove
Arup and Partners (1975-83.)
- Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Executive charged
with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers
and through them to the Scottish Parliament.