Architects who came home
The Historic Scotland website is helping to mark the Year of Homecoming by celebrating 14 Scottish architects who left their name land but subsequently returned home. Some achieved considerable success in England or further afield; all had a huge impact on Scotland's buildings and town planning, thanks to the wealth of new ideas they brought back from their time spent away from home.
Most architects returned home for a combination of reasons. Scotland's most famous 18th century architect, Robert Adam, spent 20 very successful years in London but came home after his business collapsed. He saw great opportunities emerging for designing major public buildings back in Scotland, such as the University of Edinburgh Old College, Charlotte Square in Edinburgh and the Trades Hall in Glasgow. He also designed Culzean Castle a classical house in Castle Garb.
At the other end of the timetable, Scotland's most famous late 20th century architect, Sir Robert Matthew, spent seven fruitful years as Chief Architect with London County Council, but returned home in search of new challenges. After his return he set up in private practice, which acquired international status within 20 years. He also threw himself into the development of architectural education and went on to establish the Department of Architecture at the University of Edinburgh with a broad curriculum including science, urban planning, landscape design and management. Through his efforts Architecture has become a mainstream University subject.
You can read more about Adam and Matthew here [pdf, 3.4MB]
and about a whole range of other architects. Most of the information used to create these case studies has been drawn from the Dictionary of Scottish Architects online database
which in itself is a fantastic resource for those interested in the history of Scottish Architecture.
Scottish Architects Homecoming [pdf, 3.4 MB]