Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing 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.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 93806 8115
393806, 808115


Sir Robert Matthew, designed 1953-6, built 1957-60. Large complex of residential buildings. 5-storey, 6-bay entrance block with single storey, curved wing to E and loosely arranged 2 and 3 storey courtyard to N, linked by single storey sections. Variety of materials including harling, timber cladding and bullfaced random rubble cladding. Timber framed windows, mostly horizontally orientated; distinctive L-shaped door and window ensembles to ground floors of some courtyard blocks. Predominantly pitched, pantiled roofs; flat roofs to single storey linking sections and S block of courtyard. Distinctive rounded corners to inner edges of glazed timber door frames.

ENTRANCE BLOCK: rubble and timber cladding to ground floor, harling above with some sections of timber cladding. To W elevation, ground floor extended to form terrace, accessed by external concrete steps; to upper stories of W elevation, 2 slightly recessed bays to right. Single bay N and S elevations; gable end stack to N elevation. To E elevation, single storey timber clad entrance foyer projecting to left; to right, long single storey, timber and rubble clad, wing with curved S elevation and long strip window, set-back inverse-pitched clerestory and double height glazed E end.

COURTYARD BLOCKS : S block: rectangular plan, 2-storey block, predominantly timber clad with some harling; flat roofed. W block: intersects with linking section from S block at centre; 3-storey rectangular block; harled with rubble clad gable ends and projecting stair tower. N block: 2-storey, rectangular-plan; timber clad central section with continuous glazing to both floors; flanked to both ends by harled sections. E block: 3-storey, rectangular-plan block; harled with rubble clad gable-ends and slightly projecting single stair bays to E and W elevations.

Statement of Special Interest

Crombie Halls are an excellent and almost unaltered example of the early post-war private practice work of Sir Robert Matthew. They are among the very best 1950s Modern Movement buildings in Scotland.

In 1953, Matthew was commissioned to draw up a development plan for the university campus; the university was anticipating a considerable increase in student numbers following its recent emergence from a lengthy period of decline. As part of this process, Matthew drew up designs for a ground-breaking mixed sex hall of residence, the first in Scotland. Matthew himself commented that the character of Crombie Hall was influenced by the small-scale informal civic character of the university. Materials and form were influenced by vernacular traditions. The siting of Crombie Hall reflects Matthew's wider vision for the campus, preserving the High Street and concentrating new development in the backlands of the campus.



W A Brogden, ABERDEEN: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE, (1998), p50. Information from Dr Clive Fenton of DOCOMOMO.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). 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 only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 25/04/2019 15:26