Scottish Provident Building

The building remains a dramatic statement of late Victorian commercial pride

Historian CEB Brett considers the Scottish Provident Institution building, ‘not very successful’, stating it ‘glowers massively across Donegall Square at the City Hall.’

An imposing, powerful assertion of commercial authority, its relationship with the civic ambition expressed by its contemporary, City Hall, is a dramatic one.

Built in Giffnock sandstone by architects Young and Mackenzie between 1899 and 1902, the building’s façade on Donegall Square West has a two storey rusticated ‘basement’, on which rest Corinthian columns, rising through a further three storeys to a pedimented attic.

On the corners, octagonal pavilions are topped with green copper domes, echoing City Hall. The central section of the façade bows outwards, showing an influence of art nouveaux in the otherwise palladian frontage.