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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Richard Rudolphe Chitham De'Ath
Designation: Architect
Born: 24 October 1927
Died: 28 November 2011
Bio Notes: Richard Rudolphe Chitham De’Ath was born in the small West Yorkshire town of Meltham on 24 October 1927. When he was about three years old, his family moved to Paisley, where his father worked as chief chemist at J&P Coats. He attended Paisley Academy, spent a short period at Almondbury boarding school in Yorkshire, and completed his schooling at Glasgow Academy.

He acquired his architectural education through day classes at the Glasgow School of Architecture from 1944 to 1949, spending two months of the summers of 1945 and 1946 in the office of Thomas Smith Cordiner and the whole month of June 1947 on a study tour of Italy. Whilst at the GSA, he won several prizes, internal and external. Having graduated BArch from the University of Strathclyde, from June to September 1949 he attended the CIAM International Summer School in London. This was followed by national service with the Royal Engineers, and his excellence in his work there on bridge design led to him being invited to join the practice of Keppie, Henderson & Gleave in October 1951 as architectural assistant. He took a further study tour, this time to Spain, in September 1952, passed the professional practice exam the following month and was admitted ARIBA in January 1953, his proposers being Andrew Graham Henderson, William James Smith and T S Cordiner. He was elected ARIAS in 1958.

De’Ath remained with the Keppie firm for the rest of his career, working principally on hospital and university projects. He was invited to become a junior partner in 1955 and was promoted to senior partner in 1960, by which time it had become Keppie, Henderson & Partners following Gleave’s departure in 1958. He was elected FRIBA on 5 June 1968, proposed by Jack Antonio Coia, Walter Underwood, and Ninian R J Johnston who praised his ‘solid capacity for detailed design’ and his buildings as ‘complex’ in nature and ‘very successful in their function as well as very satisfying visually’. He was known for his exceptionally fine draughtsmanship and meticulous approach; when working on the new Glasgow Sheriff Courthouse, he visited all the stone quarries that were providing material, to ensure a good match in quality and colour.

He officially retired from architectural practice in 1987, but his passion for architecture endured, and he completed his last project – an environmentally friendly German ‘HufHaus’ in the grounds of his Helensburgh home – when nearly 80 years old, having been inspired by the television programme ‘Grand Designs’. His retirement allowed him time to devote to developing his skills as a painter: he travelled across Europe and regularly exhibited through the Scottish Society of Architect Artists. Among his other interests, he enjoyed motor racing, competing at Ingliston on his 78th birthday and treating himself to an Alfa Romeo Brera which he continued to drive until the month prior to his death. He had also been a keen competitive yachtsman, having learnt to sail during his time with the Royal Engineers: later based at the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club at Rhu, he had begun on a Loch Long named ‘Barracuda’, moved on to a Dragon named ‘Meteor’, then progressed to larger boats.

He died in Helensburgh on 28 November 2011. He was predeceased by his wife Marjorie but survived by his two daughters, Winnie and Anne.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 648, Dumbreck Road, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1948 *1953(?) 
Item 2 of 691, Glencairn Drive, Pollokshields, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1953 *  
Item 3 of 616, Bruce Road, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1958 *  
Item 4 of 616, Woodvale Avenue, Whitecraigs, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1960  
Item 5 of 621, Woodside Place, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1968 *  
Item 6 of 616, West Abercromby Street, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1968After 1987 

* 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 6Thomas Smith CordinerMid 1945Mid 1945 2 months' summer work while student
Item 2 of 6Thomas Smith CordinerMid 1946Mid 1946 2 months' summer work while student
Item 3 of 6Keppie Henderson & J L GleaveOctober 1951Before 1958Assistant 
Item 4 of 6Keppie Henderson & J L Gleave19551958Junior Partner'Principal in partnership'
Item 5 of 6Keppie Henderson & Partners1958 Junior Partner 
Item 6 of 6Keppie Henderson & Partners1960After 1981Senior Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Jack Antonio Coia5 June 1968for Fellowship
Item 2 of 6Thomas Smith CordinerJanuary 1953for Associateship
Item 3 of 6Andrew Graham HendersonJanuary 1953for Associateship
Item 4 of 6Ninian Rutherford Jamieson Johnston5 June 1968for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6(Professor) William James SmithJanuary 1953for Associateship
Item 6 of 6Walter Underwood5 June 1968for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1Douglas Gordon McKellar Adam25 July 1970For Fellowship

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 78 Cork Dental Hospital  CorkEiredate not known
Item 2 of 78 Glasgow School of Art, Foulis Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 3 of 78 Leeds General HospitalLeeds YorkshireEnglanddate not known
Item 4 of 78After 1951Vale of Leven HospitalAlexandria DunbartonshireScotlandWorking for Keppie Henderson & J L Gleave
Item 5 of 78After 1955Burgh of Ayr Infectious Diseases HospitalAyr AyrshireScotlandOutpatients and Casualty Building - job architect? As junior partner
Item 6 of 781956Littlewoods Store  GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 781957Southern General Hospital, Accident and Orthopaedic block  GlasgowScotlandEntirely responsible.
Item 8 of 781957University of Glasgow, James Watt Engineering Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 781958Offices for Motherwell Bridge and Engineering CompanyMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 10 of 781959St Benedict's RC Primary SchoolEasterhouse GlasgowScotland 
Item 11 of 781960sDixons Blazes Industrial estate  GlasgowScotland 
Item 12 of 781960sIndustrial EstateRutherglen GlasgowScotland 
Item 13 of 781960sIndustrial EstateBirkenshaw YorkshireEngland 
Item 14 of 781960Glasgow University, Naval Architecture Testing Tank  GlasgowScotlandEntirely responsible
Item 15 of 78After 1960Belvidere Hospital  GlasgowScotlandLimb and appliance clinic - entirely responsible.
Item 16 of 78After 1960Stirling Royal Infirmary, Outpatients and Casualty DepartmentStirling StirlingshireScotlandEntirely responsible.
Item 17 of 781961Littlewoods Supermarket  AberdeenScotland 
Item 18 of 781961Student Amenity Building, Glasgow University  GlasgowScotlandEntirely responsible
Item 19 of 781962Garnethill redevelopmentGarnethill GlasgowScotland 
Item 20 of 781962Jordanhill College, Crawfurd Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 21 of 781963Falkirk Royal InfirmaryFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandExperimental block (and theatre block?)
Item 22 of 781963University of Glasgow, Biochemistry Buildings  GlasgowScotlandProject architect
Item 23 of 781964Govan Combination Poorhouse and AsylumGovan GlasgowScotlandMaternity Unit, new kitchen and staff dining rooms, new pharmacy building, rehabilitation centre and staff residential accommodation. As one of two/three partners in charge.
Item 24 of 781964Johnstone High SchoolJohnstone RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 25 of 781964University of Glasgow, Hydrodynamics Laboratory and Astronomy Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 26 of 781965University of Glasgow Students Union  GlasgowScotlandExtension to east gable
Item 27 of 781965Westerm Infirmary, accident and emergency department  GlasgowScotland 
Item 28 of 781965Western Infirmary Redevelopment Phases I and II  GlasgowScotlandPartner in charge with Thomas Russell Scott
Item 29 of 781966Cranhill Secondary SchoolCranhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 30 of 781966University of Glasgow, Engineering Block  GlasgowScotland 
Item 31 of 781967Jordanhill College, Henry Wood Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 32 of 781967Jordanhill College, refectoryJordanhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 33 of 781967Premises for Littlewoods Mail Order Service  EdinburghScotland 
Item 34 of 781967Stirling Royal Infirmary, Maternity UnitStirling StirlingshireScotlandPartner in charge with Thomas Russell Scott.
Item 35 of 781968Gartnavel General Hospital  GlasgowScotlandPartner in charge with Thomas Russell Scott.
Item 36 of 781968Glasgow University, Materia Medica and Physiology Buildings  GlasgowScotlandUpgrade of West Medical Building - sole partner in charge
Item 37 of 781968Jordanhill College, (Scottish School of Physical Education) Science and Mathematics Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 38 of 781968Sheriff Court of Glasgow, Gorbals Street  GlasgowScotlandChief architect
Item 39 of 781968Stanmore HouseLanark LanarkshireScotlandWith another partner
Item 40 of 78c. 1968Woodside Health Centre  GlasgowScotlandOne of two partners involved
Item 41 of 781969Kirkintilloch High SchoolKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 42 of 781969University of Glasgow, Rankine Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 43 of 78Late 1960sStirling Royal Infirmary, nurses' residenceStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 44 of 781970Glasgow College of Food Technology  GlasgowScotland 
Item 45 of 781970Glasgow School of Art, Fra Newbery Tower  GlasgowScotland 
Item 46 of 781970Western Infirmary, nurses' home  GlasgowScotland 
Item 47 of 781971Western Infirmary, nurses' training school  GlasgowScotland 
Item 48 of 781974Airdrie District (Monklands) General HospitalAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandPartner in charge with Thomas Russell Scott.
Item 49 of 78Before 1975St Gregory's SchoolRenfrew RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 50 of 78Before 1975Store for LittlewoodsKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 51 of 781976Mitchell ArcadeRutherglen Glasgow/LanarkshireScotland 
Item 52 of 781977St David's UF Church Hall and OfficesKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotlandHarled additions
Item 53 of 781978Beaumont Hospital   Eire 
Item 54 of 781980Apsley House  GlasgowScotland 
Item 55 of 78Before 1981Bakery for RHM LtdAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 56 of 78Before 1981Bakery for RHM Ltd  GlasgowScotland 
Item 57 of 78Before 1981Cork Regional Hospital  CorkEire 
Item 58 of 78Before 1981Glasgow High School  GlasgowScotland 
Item 59 of 78Before 1981Head office for GKN Ltd  Birmingham  
Item 60 of 78Before 1981Health CentreAirdrie Lanarkshire  
Item 61 of 78Before 1981Health CentreGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 62 of 78Before 1981Housing for Hanover Housing AssociationDunblane PerthshireScotland 
Item 63 of 78Before 1981Housing for the Hanover Housing AssociationEarlston BerwickshireScotland 
Item 64 of 78Before 1981Housing for the Hanover Housing AssociationLivingston West LothianScotland 
Item 65 of 78Before 1981Housing for the Hanover Housing AssociationDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 66 of 78Before 1981Housing for the Hanover Housing Association  GlasgowScotland 
Item 67 of 78Before 1981Industrial Estate for Taylor Woodrow Industrial EstatesStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 68 of 78Before 1981Industrial Estate for Taylor Woodrow Industrial EstatesCambuslang GlasgowScotland 
Item 69 of 78Before 1981Industrial Estate for the SDANewhouse LanarkshireScotland 
Item 70 of 78Before 1981Industrial Estate for the SDAAlexandria DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 71 of 78Before 1981Office block for John Laing Development Company  GlasgowScotland 
Item 72 of 78Before 1981Office block for Ravenstone Securities Ltd  Dublin  
Item 73 of 78Before 1981Regional General Hospital  DublinEire 
Item 74 of 78Before 1981Shopping CentreBaillieston GlasgowScotland 
Item 75 of 781986The Forge CentreParkhead GlasgowScotland 
Item 76 of 781987202-228 St Vincent Street  GlasgowScotlandInteriors gutted and replaced.
Item 77 of 781987Ayr HospitalAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 78 of 782005 or 2006HufHaus, 16 West Abercromby StreetHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotlandfor himself


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 6Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Pressp146
Item 2 of 6Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp12, p169 Vale of Leven Hospital
p28 Falkirk Royal Infirmary prototype wards;
Glasgow's Western Infirmary;
Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow
p155 Ward Unit and Operating Theatre Suite, Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary
Item 3 of 6RIBA1948The RIBA Kalendar 1948-1949 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 4 of 6RIBA1954RIBA Kalendar 1953-54   
Item 5 of 6RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 6 of 6RIBA1987RIBA Directory of Members 1987   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Scotsman29 November 2011   
Item 2 of 2Scotsman19 December 2011  p.42: obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no 14271 (stored under F5991); F no 5991 (combined box 112)


© All rights reserved. © courtesy of RIAS 

© All rights reserved. © courtesy of RIAS