Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Allen ('Mick') Short Matheson |
|Designation: || |
|Born: ||28 February 1926 |
|Died: || |
|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 :|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|37, Mardale Crescent, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||c. 1953|| || |
|7A, West Castle Road, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||1954 *|| || |
|1, Hughenden Terrace, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||c. 1964|| || |
|11, Spence Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||c. 1970||2011|| |
|10, Lynedoch Crescent, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1979 *||After 1987|| |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this :|
|Bailey, Rebecca M||1996||Scottish architects' papers: a source book|| ||Edinburgh: The Rutland Press||P145|
|Glendinning, Miles||1997||Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75 || ||Tuckwell Press Ltd||p48 University of Glasgow, Boyd Orr Building|
|RIBA||1954||RIBA Kalendar 1953-54|| || || |
|RIBA||1964||The RIBA Kalendar 1963-64|| || || |
|RIBA||1970||RIBA Directory 1970|| || || |
|RIBA||1979||Directory of members|| || || |
|RIBA||1987||RIBA Directory of Members 1987|| || || |
|The following periodicals contain references to this :|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Scotsman||11 October 2014|| || || |
|The following archives hold material relating to this :|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Interview with Eric Davidson, 20 October 2010||Information to Yvonne Hillyard || || |
|RIAS, Rutland Square||Records of membership|| || |
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