Basic Biographical Details

Name: William John Fairweather
Designation: Architect
Born: 28 April 1907
Died: 12 March 1983
Bio Notes: William John Fairweather was born on 28 April 1907, son of Glasgow architect John Fairweather and his wife Evelyn Donaldson. He was articled to his father in September 1925 and two years later commenced his studies at Glasgow School of Architecture. He graduated BSc in October 1931, passed the Professional Practice exam in Edinburgh in December the same year and received his diploma in architecture in June 1932. This enabled him to be admitted ARIBA late that year, his proposers being his father, Thomas Harold Hughes and William James Smith. His nomination papers state that he had travelled to Holland in 1927, to Belgium in 1929 and to Belgium and Germany in 1930. He became his father's partner in 1936 or 1938 (sources vary), probably having continued as his assistant prior to that date.

He served in the armed forces during the Second World War, initially as a Gunner in the Searchlight Regiment in 1940, then as a Lieutenant in the Assistant Garrison Engineer in India from 1941, as a Captain, SORE in the Army Command & Garrison Engineer in airfields in India from 1942, and in the same position in hospitals in India in 1945.

William's father died in January 1942 but he retained the practice and continued it under the same name of John Fairweather & Son and at the same address (29 Renfrew Street) after his return from active service in 1945. He appears to have used his name alone from 1947 until closing his practice to enter the employment of the University of Glasgow as Assistant Secretary and Joint Building Officer in 1958, being promoted to Principal Building Officer in 1964.

In this post he had responsibility for the building programme at the University. Thuis included all new University buildings; additions to and reconstruction of existing buildings; preparation of plans for expansion at the main University site and at the University Veterinary School and Hospital at Garscube; plans for new hospitals so far as University teaching departments are concerned; furnishing and equiping of buildings; general administration of building finance; reports on buildings; and advice on planning, architectural and aesthetic matters.

He was still in the post of Principal Building Officer to the University at the time of his election to FRIBA in 1968. He was proposed by John Andrew Carrick, William James Smith and Walter Underwood. In his Fellowship Nomination paper he gave details his role in liaising between users and project architects: 'interpreting the users' requirements in the form of a brief and therafter working closely with architect and user in developing the plans to be finally approved by the University Court' and 'seeing the work to through to completion'.

Fairweather took an active interest in professional matters. He served for several periods on the Council of the Glasgow Institute of Architects as well as on the Council of the RIAS; he was a governor of Glasgow School of Art; and he was a member of the RIBA Library Board from 1967-68.

He died at Mount Charles Crescent, Ayr on 12 March 1983. He was survived by his wife, Margaret Bishop Taylor, and a son, P Fairweather, who settled in Tillicoultry.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5182, Trongate, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 5Glengarry, Whitehill Avenue, Stepps, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1932After 1934 
Item 3 of 529, Renfrew Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1939After 1950 
Item 4 of 5155, Broomhill Drive, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1968 *After 1970 
Item 5 of 518, Mount Charles Crescent, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate19791983 

* 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 3John FairweatherSeptember 1925September 1927Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3John FairweatherAfter 1927(?)1936 or 1938(?)Assistant(?)Probably assisted for at least some of this period, prior to partnership
Item 3 of 3John Fairweather & Son1936 or 19381947PartnerAway on active service 1940-45


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6James Andrew Carrick5 June 1968For Fellowship
Item 2 of 6John FairweatherLate 1932for Associateship
Item 3 of 6Thomas Harold HughesLate 1932for Associateship
Item 4 of 6(Professor) William James SmithLate 1932for Associateship
Item 5 of 6(Professor) William James Smith5 June 1968For Fellowship
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 1Walter Neil Wilson Ramsay2 October 1968For 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 121931Rio CinemaRutherglen LanarkshireScotlandAs assistant
Item 2 of 121931Rio CinemaRutherglen LanarkshireScotlandArchitect given by McKean - perhaps an earlier building?
Item 3 of 121932(?)East Park Homes for Infirm ChildrenMaryhill GlasgowScotlandAlterations and extension and administration block
Item 4 of 121933Concert HallsMontrose AngusScotlandAs assistant to his father
Item 5 of 121936British Linen BankCalton GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to his father
Item 6 of 121938Cinema, Hall StreetCampbeltown ArgyllScotland 
Item 7 of 121939CinemaSaltcoats AyrshireScotland 
Item 8 of 121939East Park Homes for Infirm ChildrenMaryhill GlasgowScotlandFurther work
Item 9 of 121939Enterkine HouseStair (near) AyrshireScotlandStair (information from W J Fairweather, who designed it ). Conflict of information as 'Buildings of Scotland' states that there was a new house 1939-40 by Fairweather.
Item 10 of 121939Green's PlayhouseWishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 11 of 121947East Park Homes for Infirm ChildrenMaryhill GlasgowScotlandFurther work
Item 12 of 121947Wolglon & Co Ltd Premises  GlasgowScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 2 of 4RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 4RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 4 of 4RIBA1979Directory of members   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Cinema Theatre Association BulletinNovember 1982v 16  

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from William John Fairweather, 1970; additional research by Iain Paterson
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no4965 (stored under F6006, combined box 113); F no6006 (combined box 113)