The building consisted of a ground level of shops and warehouses, with 12 spacious flats in the upper four floors. It was designed by the architecture firm of Watson & Mitchell, owned by Thomas Lennox Watson and Henry Mitchell. Watson found fame with the likes of his neo-Roman design for the Wellington Church, which began construction opposite the University of Glasgow in 1882. His style seems to have been transferred from Alfred Waterhouse, a London architect whom he was assistant under for a time. With his own practice in Glasgow, Watson took on Mitchell as his partner. Mitchell seems to have had a curse placed on him, as his two previous partnerships, the first with William Tait Conner and the second with Charles Edward Whitelaw, failed to yield any great commissions or prospects. His new partnership with Watson lasted the length of time it took to build Ashfield House. However, in 1909 a new Finance Act by Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith and Chancellor David Lloyd George significantly increased the country’s taxes. Work dried up, and by 1913 the partnership was dissolved, with Mitchell going it alone.