© All rights reserved. Scottish Architect and Builder © All rights reserved. RIAS 

Larger versions of these images are located at the foot of the page.

Basic Biographical Details

Name: Thomas Waller Marwick
Designation: Architect
Born: 31 December 1903 or 31 January 1904
Died: 12 July 1971
Bio Notes: Thomas Waller Marwick was the grandson of Edinburgh architect Thomas Purves Marwick, and son of Thomas Craigie Marwick. He was born on either 31 December 1903 (according to his ARIBA nomination paper) or 31 January 1904 (according to his FRIBA nomination paper), was educated at George Watson's College, and served his apprenticeship in his grandfather's and father's firm of T P Marwick & Son from 1923 to 1928, studying at Edinburgh College of Art. In 1928 he made a ten-week tour of the USA and Canada before beginning a course at the Architectural Association in London. He made further travels in 1930, spending two months in southern Spain and France, and passed the qualifying exam in London in 1931. He was admitted ARIBA at the end of that year, his proposers being Howard Morley Robertson, John Jerdan and Verner Owen Rees; by that time he had returned to Edinburgh to join the family firm as an assistant, and he was taken into partnership in 1935.

His London background no doubt had a great deal to do with the highly accomplished modernism of the firm's work in the 1930s, culminating in his being invited to undertake a major role in the design of the Glasgow Empire Exhibition of 1938. The sheer quality of the firm's work at that time has been attributed in part to the Rutland prize-winner Philip McManus, who had studied the work of Duiker and Dudok in Holland, and David ('Speedy') Harvey who was a brilliant draughtsman and perspectivist, but McManus left from 1937 to become a planner in Cape Town, South Africa. While Harvey must have borne the main responsibility of the Empire Exhibition, the individual roles of Marwick, McManus and Harvey have still to be satisfactorily sorted out. Whatever the role of the latter the Marwicks must have been committed modernists for such adventurous designs to be accepted by their corporate clients. In the event their modernism cost them the business of the National Bank, which sought a more conservative design from Leslie Grahame-Thomson.

Thomas Waller Marwick served as a Major in the Royal Engineers during the Second World War, resuming practice on his own account in 1946. He never married. In his later years, with the original design for the Sun Building modified to its detriment by the City's planning department, he was described by William Dey as a 'funny little man' and by Scott Morton as a 'sulky disappointed sort of chap,' probably because the firm's pre-war success was not recovered in the post-war years as it should have been. By 1964 his practice was known as T Waller Marwick & Associates.

He retired c.1966, but he must have been conscious of the importance of what his firm had done as he took the then unusual step of presenting the office drawings to the National Monuments Record in 1969. He died in an Edinburgh nursing home, 15 Blantyre Terrace, on 12 July 1971, leaving an estate of only £698.85, including property. He never married.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 65, The Clebe, Cramond, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate   
Item 2 of 611, Learmonth Gardens South, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate 1971 
Item 3 of 654, Northumberland Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness19301939 or after 1940 
Item 4 of 6Westgate/1, Churchill, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1931 *  
Item 5 of 610, Randolph Cliff, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1949 *  
Item 6 of 67, St Colme Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1949After 1953 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3T P Marwick & Son19231928Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3T P Marwick & Son19311935Assistant(?) 
Item 3 of 3T P Marwick & Son19351940(?)Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3Andrew A MacCullochc. 1937 * Draughtsman(?) 
Item 2 of 3Richard Ross Forbes Cassidy19491950Assistant(?) 
Item 3 of 3James Kydd Duncan1953 * Draughtsman 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Lockhart Whiteford Hutson11 October 1949for Fellowship
Item 2 of 6John JerdanLate 1931for Associateship
Item 3 of 6John Ross McKay11 October 1949for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6Verner Owen ReesLate 1931for Associateship
Item 5 of 6(Sir) Howard Morley RobertsonLate 1931for Associateship
Item 6 of 6Leslie Grahame Thomson (or Leslie Grahame-Thomson; later Leslie Grahame MacDougall)11 October 1949for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 4Alexander Cosmo Smith Auld17 June 1952Fior Fellowship
Item 2 of 4William Gordon DeyEarly 1956For Fellowship
Item 3 of 4Alexander Esmé Gordon (or Esmé Gordon)6 March 1956For Fellowship
Item 4 of 4Allen ('Mick') Short Matheson8 December 1953For Associateship

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 39 9 Inverleith TerraceInverleith EdinburghScotlandHeld plans for sub-division into two dwelling houses; date unknown
Item 2 of 39After 1920Star Hotel  EdinburghScotlandUnspecified work for Messrs Cranston & Elliot
Item 3 of 391927J & G Cox's Glue WorksGorgie EdinburghScotlandAlterations? Additions?
Item 4 of 391930St Cuthbert's Wholesale Co-operative Society Funeral Department  EdinburghScotlandWas he involved at this point?
Item 5 of 39After 1930(?)St Andrew's Church Halls  EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 39c. 1930Cinema in StockbridgeStockbridge EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 39c. 1930Merleton, Boswall Road  EdinburghScotlandProposed addition of smoking room
Item 8 of 391935St Cuthbert's Co-operative Association Store, New Building  EdinburghScotland 
Item 9 of 391935St Cuthbert's Co-operative Society Furniture Showroom  EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 391935Temporary National Bank of Scotland Headquarters  EdinburghScotlandLost commission for permanent headquarters as a more conservative design was required
Item 11 of 391935Whitefoord House  EdinburghScotlandReconstruction
Item 12 of 391936Glasgow Empire Exhibition, masterplanBellahouston GlasgowScotlandWorked with Thomas Smith Tait on masterplan
Item 13 of 391936(?)Premises for Jays the Furnishers  EdinburghScotland 
Item 14 of 391936 or 1937Glasgow Empire Exhibition, Atlantic RestaurantBellahouston GlasgowScotlandIn collaboration with Thomas Smith Tait
Item 15 of 391936 or 1937Glasgow Empire Exhibition, Garden Club and Lucullus RestaurantBellahouston GlasgowScotlandIn collaboration with Thomas Smith Tait
Item 16 of 391936 or 1937Glasgow Empire Exhibition, Physical Fitness PavilionBellahouston GlasgowScotlandIn collaboration with Thomas Smith Tait
Item 17 of 391937Eagle Star Insurance Offices  EdinburghScotlandOriginal design modified by city planners; not constructed until 1955
Item 18 of 391937Glasgow Empire Exhibition, Cascade and Rotunda Shopping CentreBellahouston GlasgowScotlandIn collaboration with Thomas Smith Tait
Item 19 of 391937Shop front for Page & McGregor  EdinburghScotland 
Item 20 of 391937Shops, 16 and 18 Bridgeton CrossBridgeton GlasgowScotlandSurvey plans?
Item 21 of 391937St Cuthbert's Co-operative Association Department Store and Dairy  EdinburghScotlandModern extension for furniture store - see separate entry
Item 22 of 39c. 1937National Library of Scotland  EdinburghScotlandSite plan with levels of library, etc
Item 23 of 391938Co-op Shop  EdinburghScotland 
Item 24 of 391939Kilmory CastleLochgilphead ArgyllScotlandAlterations?
Item 25 of 391939Livingstone Institute and Medical Missionary Society's premises  EdinburghScotlandUnspecified work
Item 26 of 391946Victoria League House, Manor Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 27 of 39194971-93 Canongate  EdinburghScotlandProposed renovation, restoration and demolition plans
Item 28 of 391949Commercial Bank and Caledonian United Services Club Building (Mather's Bar part of scheme))  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 29 of 391950School of ArtDunfermline FifeScotlandReconstruction
Item 30 of 39December 1950Factory for William Arnott McLeod & Co Ltd, Gylemuir RoadCorstorphine EdinburghScotlandOffices and stores
Item 31 of 391951Eagle Star Insurance Offices  EdinburghScotlandPlans resubmitted and approved and scheme carried out
Item 32 of 391951Office Block, Frederick and George Streets  GlasgowScotland 
Item 33 of 391952Murrayfield Ice Rink and Sports StadiumMurrayfield EdinburghScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 34 of 391953Golfer's LandCanongate Edinburgh, MidlothianScotlandAlterations? Survey plans?
Item 35 of 3926 April 1957Coal Utilisation Information Centre  EdinburghScotland'architect in charge of the conversion of the premises' per Builder p796
Item 36 of 39c. 1958Whitefoord House  EdinburghScotland'New Building'
Item 37 of 391960Jenners' extension  EdinburghScotlandExtensions
Item 38 of 391964Tenement, 98-102 West Bow  EdinburghScotland 
Item 39 of 391964University Club  EdinburghScotlandBuilt out ground floor as shops


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Miles Glendinning, Diane Watters, David Whitham Docomomo Scotland Leaflet  p227 Image of St Cuthbert's Co-operative Society on Bread Street
Item 2 of 2RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 7Builder1 December 1950  p582
Item 2 of 7Builder13 April 1951  p534
Item 3 of 7Builder9 October 1953  p561
Item 4 of 7Builder25 December 1953  p1014
Item 5 of 7Builder22 May 1959  'Notes of the Week' p912
Item 6 of 7Edinburgh Evening News15 July 1971  Obituary
Item 7 of 7Scotsman14 July 1971  Death notice

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information from correspondence from Charles S Marwick to Charles McKean, 4 January 1987
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no4470 (combined box 16); F no4470 (combined box 16)


© All rights reserved. Scottish Architect and Builder 

© All rights reserved. Scottish Architect and Builder's Journal 1938

© All rights reserved. RIAS 

© All rights reserved. RIAS