© All rights reserved. Scottish Architect and Builders Journal 1938 © All rights reserved.  and courtesy of West Kilbride Parish Church per Stephen Brown © All rights reserved.  and courtesy of Stephen Brown 

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

Basic Biographical Details

Name: Margaret Brash Brodie (Miss)
Designation: Architect
Born: 10 June 1907
Died: 14 April 1997
Bio Notes: Miss Margaret Brash Brodie was born in Largs on 10 June 1907, one of the three daughters of John Brodie who was a civil engineer who specialised in railway company work and his wife Jane Brash. She attended Glasgow High School for Girls and was articled to Stewart & Paterson in 1925, studying at the Glasgow School of Architecture which she entered in 1926 as a student of the newly introduced BSc (Architecture) course which was conducted jointly with the University of Glasgow.

She travelled in England in 1928 and in France in 1929, was the first student to graduate from the BSc course with a First Class Honours in Design in 1931 and was awarded the Keppie Travelling Scholarship which enabled her to study at the British School at Rome where she met fellow students, William Holford, Robert Matthew and Basil Spence. She was still with Stewart & Paterson in late 1930 when she was admitted ARIBA, her proposers being Thomas Harold Hughes, John Watson and George Andrew Paterson.

After qualification she obtained a post with Watson Salmond & Gray and worked on the firm's design for the new Paisley Infectious Diseases Hospital. Her drawings for the hospital scheme were exhibited and brought her to the attention of Thomas Tait. In 1932 Tait offered her a post as assistant with Burnet Tait & Lorne in London, where she remained until 1938. She worked on the Glasgow Empire Exhibition for which she personally designed the Women of the Empire pavilion. Although devoted to Tait, incompatibility with Frances Lorne caused her to leave for Mewes & Davis in 1938.

The Second World War years were spent in East Anglia designing aerodromes for the Air Ministry. At the end of the war she returned to Burnet, Tait & Lorne, this time to their Edinburgh office where Francis Lorne was now the resident partner in charge. Again they proved incompatible and in 1949 she left to set up her own practice at Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire, combining it with teaching at Glasgow School of Art (or the Royal Technical College according to the Glasgow Herald) where she was remembered as a demanding but not unkind teacher even if the irony in her commentaries could prove unnerving for the uninitiated. She had a notable competition success with the design for the new war memorial art school at Victoria College, Jersey in 1950, but she had no interest in running a large practice, preferring to undertake only what she could do herself. Here practice remained primarily ecclesiastical and domestic. She also acted as consultant to several engineering firms, the most important of which was Crouch & Hogg. She sat for some twenty years on the Church of Scotland's Advisory Committee on Artistic Questions and was appointed its convener in May 1974, the first woman to hold the post.

She retired in 1990, moving from Knowe's Mill, Lochwinnoch to Knockbuckle Cottage at Beith where she lived with her sister: although tall and extremely good-looking, even in old age, she never married. In 1995 she was created a Fellow of the Glasgow School of Art at a special graduation to mark the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the school.

Margaret Brash Brodie died in Beith on 14 April 1997.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 570, Oakfield Avenue, Hillhead, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1930 *After 1950 
Item 2 of 5Hillside, Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivate1955 *  
Item 3 of 5Nervelstone, By Beith, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivatec. 1960After 1965 
Item 4 of 5Knowes Mill, Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 1970After 1984 
Item 5 of 5Knockbuckle Cottage, Beith, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate1990After 1994Address in retirement

* 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 4Stewart & Paterson1925After 1930ApprenticeProbably stayed thereafter as assistant
Item 2 of 4(Sir) John Burnet, Tait & Lornec. 19321938Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Mewes & Davis1938c. 1940Assistant 
Item 4 of 4(Sir) John Burnet, Tait & Lornec. 19461949Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Thomas Harold HughesLate 1930for Associateship
Item 2 of 3George Andrew PatersonLate 1930for Associateship
Item 3 of 3John WatsonLate 1930for 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 14 Hamilton-Bardrainney ChurchPort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 2 of 141936Glasgow Empire Exhibition, masterplanBellahouston GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to Tait in Burnet, Tait & Lorne
Item 3 of 141938Glasgow Empire Exhibition, Women of the Empire PavilionBellahouston Park GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 14c. 1950Victoria College, war memorial art school St HellierJerseyChannel IslandsEnglandWon open competition to secure job
Item 5 of 141956Christ Scientist ChurchHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 6 of 141957St Martin's ChurchPort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 7 of 141962Grant's DistilleryGirvan AyrshireScotlandWith Cowan & Linn, engineers
Item 8 of 141963North Parish Church and hallSaltcoats AyrshireScotland 
Item 9 of 141968West Kilbride Free ChurchWest Kilbride AyrshireScotlandBrick hall
Item 10 of 141970Library and Village CentreSkelmorlie  ScotlandExtension to rear
Item 11 of 141974Laurieston-Gorbals Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 12 of 141974St Brendan's Church hallRothesay ButeScotland 
Item 13 of 141975St Brendan's ChurchRothesayButeButeScotlandTower retained and new church built
Item 14 of 141983Largs Parish Church and Memorial HallsLargs AyrshireScotlandScreen across Mactaggart Memorial Chapel. Glass etched by Avril Gibb.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 12Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Pressp241
Item 2 of 12http://www.heraldscotland.com http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12327431.Margaret_Brodie/   
Item 3 of 12http://www.independent.co.uk http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-margaret-brodie-1268627.html   
Item 4 of 12RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 5 of 12RIBA1955Kalendar 1954-1955   
Item 6 of 12RIBA1960The RIBA Kalendar 1959-19601959-1960  
Item 7 of 12RIBA1964The RIBA Kalendar 1964-65   
Item 8 of 12RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 9 of 12RIBA1979Directory of members   
Item 10 of 12RIBA1984RIBA Directory of members   
Item 11 of 12RIBA1994A Directory of RIBA Members   
Item 12 of 12Scottish Women2006Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women EUP 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 7Glasgow Herald16 March 1951  p3
Item 2 of 7Glasgow Herald23 May 1974  p13
Item 3 of 7Glasgow Herald19 April 1997   
Item 4 of 7Glasgow Herald19 April 1997  Obituary by Neil Baxter
Item 5 of 7RIAS NewsletterJune 1997  Obituary by Neil Baxter
Item 6 of 7Society of Architectural Historians of GB199761Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain newsletterObituary by Ann Colquhoun p6
Item 7 of 7The Independent22 April 1997  Obituary of Christopher Lee.

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no4513 (combined box 19)
Item 2 of 2Strathclyde Regional Archives (Mitchell Library)Strathclyde Regional Archives Drawings for 22 projects


© All rights reserved. Scottish Architect and Builders Journal 1938 

© All rights reserved. Scottish Architect and Builders Journal 1938

© All rights reserved.  and courtesy of West Kilbride Parish Church per Stephen Brown 

© All rights reserved. and courtesy of West Kilbride Parish Church per Stephen Brown

© All rights reserved.  and courtesy of Stephen Brown 

© All rights reserved. and courtesy of Stephen Brown