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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Allen ('Mick') Short Matheson
Born: 28 February 1926
Bio Notes: Allen Short Matheson, known as 'Mick', was born in Egypt on 28 February 1926, the youngest of the nine children of John Matheson who worked for the Cable & Wireless Company and his wife Nina Short who was South African. He was sent back home to Scotland initially to live with his elder brother, a doctor and to attend a local school. He later moved to George Watson's College in Edinburgh where he excelled in rugby and cricket, an interest in the latter which he continued throughout his life.

He won a place at the University of Cambridge to study economics, politics and modern history but his heart was not in this although he did enjoy military training while in Cambridge and was awarded the accolade of best cadet in the University. This was during the war years and he signed up for the RAF and was sent to Canada for navigation training. However when the war ended his training was incomplete and he returned to the UK. During his brief wartime career he had decided that he did not want to pursue his studies at Cambridge but was more interested in design.

He studied at Edinburgh College of Art from October 1948 to June 1953. He was awarded a travelling scholarship in the latter year and visited Spain. The arrival of a new professor, Gordon Brown, at the College heralded a new dynamism in the teaching there and he was inspired by a series of young architect tutors such as Esme Gordon and Alan Reiach. He was elected ARIBA on 8 December 1953, proposed by Leslie Grahame MacDougall, Thomas Waller Marwick and John Ross McKay. He was also a qualified town planner, being AMTPI and more recently MRTPI. He was elected ARIAS in 1954.

From 1955-56 he worked as architectural assistant in the Architects Department of the South-East of Scotland Regional Hospital Board and from 1956-59 he was a senior planning assistant in the County Architects Department, Nottingham County Council. He returned to Scotland to become an assistant in the practice of Joseph Lea Gleave. Ivor Gardiner Menzies Gordon Dorward was one of his fellow assistants in the practice and became a partner in 1960.

Matheson was invited to join Gleave in partnership in 1963, the practice name becoming Dorward Matheson Gleave & Partners at this point. In 1965 Gleave died and by 1970 the name had changed to J L Gleave & Partners. Despite Gleave’s early death the practice continued to flourish and undertook a wide range of major commissions including hospitals, housing and airport work. Matheson was elected FRIBA on 8 April 1970, proposed by Jack Coia, Walter Underwood and Thomas Russell Scott. Gleave's son David joined the partnership in 1971; on the retirement of Dorward in 1983, it became the Matheson Gleave Partnership.

In 1968 Matheson joined a UK government mission to study airports and hospitals in the United States. The group visited O’Hare Airport in Chicago where by chance he met Vice President Hubert Humphrey; Los Angeles where he met the Kennedy family in the wake of the shooting of Bobby Kennedy.

At the time of his nomination to Fellowship of the RIBA in 1970 he had undertaken the following work: a Commercial Centre (offices, shops etc.) (£3m); doctor's surgeries, interior design work for a bank and a restaurant etc.), low rise housing (£.3m); multi-storey flats (£2m); nurses training school (£.14m), a general hospital phase I (cost of phase I £1.5m) and II, (cost of second phase £4m). Other work included operating theatres and an X-ray department, maternity & child welfare clinic, low-rise housing (£.4m), office blocks and industrial buildings.

Matheson took an active role in professional matters. He was chair of the Construction Industries Group (SCIG), director of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, vice-chairman of the board of the Glasgow School of Art, a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission, chair of the Joint Standing Committee of Architects, Surveyors and Building Contractors and served as president of the RIAS from 1981-1983 at a time when the Incorporation was taking an increasingly active role in Scottish public life. He was awarded the CBE in 1997.

After his retirement in 1994 he pursued his interests in art and sport, particularly cricket. He was a tall strikingly handsome man with much charm and creative talent.

Matheson died on 18 September 2014 after many years of illness survived by his wife, Catherine Anne Lumsden whom he had married in 1957 and their two sons, one of whom, Graeme, followed his father into architecture and grandchildren.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 537, Mardale Crescent, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1953  
Item 2 of 57A, West Castle Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1954 *  
Item 3 of 51, Hughenden Terrace, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessc. 1964  
Item 4 of 511, Spence Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessc. 19702011 
Item 5 of 510, Lynedoch Crescent, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1979 *After 1987 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3Dorward Matheson Gleave & Partnersc. 1963After 1980Partner 
Item 2 of 3J L Gleave & Partners1970 * Partner 
Item 3 of 3Matheson Gleave Partnership1987(?)Partner 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Jack Antonio Coia8 April 1970For Fellowship
Item 2 of 6Thomas Waller Marwick8 December 1953For Associateship
Item 3 of 6John Ross McKay8 December 1953For Associateship
Item 4 of 6Thomas Russell Scott8 April 1970For Fellowship
Item 5 of 6Leslie Grahame Thomson (or Leslie Grahame-Thomson; later Leslie Grahame MacDougall)8 December 1953For Associateship
Item 6 of 6Walter Underwood8 April 1970For Fellowship

Buildings and Designs

This 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 241960sCentral Hospital, Raigmore (Central General Hospital)Raigmore, Inverness Inverness-shireScotlandPhases 1 & 2 completed by 1975.
Item 2 of 241961Blackfriars Primary SchoolGorbals GlasgowScotlandUnclear if in partnership at this stage
Item 3 of 241961St Francis RC SchoolGorbals GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 241962Belford HospitalFort William Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 5 of 241964Prestwick International Airport  AyrshireScotlandFurther buildings
Item 6 of 241964Queen Mother's Hospital  GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 24After 1964Tryst Sports Complex and Swimming PoolCumbernauld DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 8 of 241966Four tower blocks, Pollokshaws CDA Unit 1Pollokshaws GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 241969University of Glasgow, Mathematics Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 241970sEasterhouse Township CentreEasterhouse GlasgowScotlandIn conjunction with the City Architects Department?
Item 11 of 24Before 1970Airport fire station   Scotland 
Item 12 of 241972University of Glasgow, Boyd Orr Building for basic science  GlasgowScotland 
Item 13 of 24Before 1975Local Authority administration buildingsCumbernauld DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 14 of 24Before 1975School for War Office  PerthshireScotland 
Item 15 of 24Before 1975Two special schools for Glasgow Corporation  GlasgowScotland 
Item 16 of 24c. 1975Local Authority administration buildingsInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 17 of 24c. 1975Vale of Leven Hospital, Geriatric Unit (180 beds)  DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 18 of 241977University of Glasgow, Anatomy Building  GlasgowScotlandExtension to rear
Item 19 of 241978Monklands Leisure CentreAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandWorked in association wioth Monklands District Architects
Item 20 of 241979Western Isles Council Offices (Comhairle Nan Eilean)StornowayLewis ScotlandPerhaps not involved
Item 21 of 241980University of Glasgow, Geology Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 22 of 24 Pollokshaws CDA Unit 1 Area APollokshaws GlasgowScotlandUnclear if Dorward and Matheson were partners of Gleave before 1964
Item 23 of 24 Pollokshaws CDA Unit 1 Area BPollokshaws GlasgowScotlandUnclear whether Dorward and Matheson were partners of Gleave before 1964
Item 24 of 24c. 1965Pollokshaws CDA Unit 1Pollokshaws GlasgowScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 7Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland PressP145
Item 2 of 7Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp48 University of Glasgow, Boyd Orr Building
Item 3 of 7RIBA1954RIBA Kalendar 1953-54   
Item 4 of 7RIBA1964The RIBA Kalendar 1963-64   
Item 5 of 7RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 6 of 7RIBA1979Directory of members   
Item 7 of 7RIBA1987RIBA Directory of Members 1987   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Scotsman11 October 2014   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Interview with Eric Davidson, 20 October 2010Information to Yvonne Hillyard   
Item 2 of 2RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership  


© All rights reserved. ©and courtesy of RIAS 

© All rights reserved. ©and courtesy of RIAS