Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 94054 8096
394054, 808096


Alexander George Robertson Mackenzie of A Marshall Mackenzie & Son; 1939-41. 2-storey, 7-bay, roughly square-plan, symmetrical Modern sports pavilion on university campus, facing playing fields to E; with 3-bay centre breaking wallhead and paired, dog-leg, concrete stairs with shared landing leading to continuous cantilievered balcony wrapping around to side elevations. Steel frame with brick infill, cement render; squared and snecked granite to S and W elevations with tooled dressings; coursed and squared granite to N elevation (squash courts). Cill course at ground floor. Bays separated by plain square pilasters. Multi-pane horizontal windows at ground floor. Full-height glazing above plain stallriser at 1st floor. Coved cantilevered cornice, wider to centre bays of E (principal) elevation. Staircase flanked by entrances.

INTERIOR (seen 2012): largely unaltered plan-form consisting of swimming pool at ground floor surrounded by enclosed changing rooms; 1st floor with former café overlooking pool to E; former squash courts to N and private dwelling to S. Swimming pool with glazed square tiling to dado and opaque glazed brick strip, plastered walls above, curved openings to changing rooms, concrete balcony at 1st floor. Some original timber cubicles to changing rooms. Some glazed and timber doors with original door furniture.

Non-original glazing. Flat felt roof. Predominantly original, painted metal rainwater goods, with dated hoppers.

Statement of Special Interest

A rare and largely-unaltered example of a Modern sports pavilion. The design of the building elegantly blends the Classical style of symmetry and proportion with the Modern movement ideas of light and the free plan. The Modern style is particularly suitable for sports and pavilion design and other examples include Penilee Sports Pavilion and Mountblow Football Pavilion (see separate listings).

The building adheres to the Modern movement principle of 'form follows function' with the changing rooms and swimming pool accommodated in a solid plinth giving way to a glazed first floor, wrapped by the continuous balcony, providing views over the playing field. The building is finished with the deep cantilevered cornice that gives the impression of a portico at the centre. There was a requirement for part of the building to be faced in granite in order to harmonise with the adjacent university buildings. Undressed granite, with the rock face exposed, is used to the rear of the building and the side elevation to denote the private accommodation and the squash courts.

The pavilion was built for the King's College University Athletic Club, but was also required to provide common room facilities for the whole college. The university required a multi-purpose sports facility but with flexible changing rooms to accommodate users to the swimming pool and playing fields. The size of the building was constrained by the adjacent university buildings to the N and W and the playing fields and tennis courts to the S and E, and the height of the building was limited so as not to obscure views of the Old Crown Tower.

Alexander George Robertson Mackenzie (AGR), joined his father's practice in 1902, and it subsequently became known as A Marshall Mackenzie and Son. AGR assisted his father in the Marischal College extension works, completed in 1906, a job which brought the practice national fame. Following his father's death in 1933 AGR was determined to strengthen the practice's work and experimented more in Modern design, evident in his work such as the additions to Douglas Hotel (1937) and St. Mary's Church (1937-9) (see separate listings) both in Aberdeen, as well as numerous other sports pavilions in the United Kingdom. After WWII the practice's core work was conservation work, with the National Trust for Scotland being the main client. As well as Marischal College and the sports pavilion the practice designed a number of buildings for the University of Aberdeen including the Botany Department (1922) and Forestry Department (1925).

The University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495 by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland and is Scotland's third oldest university. King's College campus, in Old Aberdeen, is the main campus of the university, and is so called after the original name of the university. Some original King's College buildings still remain today such as King's College Chapel (from 1500) (see separate listing). In the 20th century the campus expanded resulting in the construction of new buildings. Early 20th century buildings, such as the New King's College (1912) and Elphinstone Hall (1927) (see separate listings) reflected the styles of the older buildings, however mid-later 20th century buildings, such as the King's College Sports Pavilion and Crombie Halls Of Residence (1953-6), embraced the architectural styles of the 20th century.

Scotland's place in the history of sport is exceptional. With the early origins of the games of curling and golf attributed to Scotland it is no surprise that our sporting-related architectural heritage is so rich and fascinating. Sport is an immensely significant part of our shared social and cultural history and one which continues to influence and shape our lives today.

List description updated as part of the sporting buildings thematic study (2012-13).



Plans, Marischal College. Architectural Review (October 1941) pp110-112, xxviii. W A Brogden, Aberdeen: an Illustrated Architectural Guide (1998), p59. (accessed 4 April 2013).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 17/08/2022 15:18