Basic Biographical Details

Name: James McNab (or Hamish McNab)
Designation: Architect
Born: 22 July 1891
Died: 21 April 1937
Bio Notes: James McNab, better known as Hamish, was born on 22 July 1891, the son of Glasgow architect William Hunter McNab and his wife Isabella Braid Christie Walls. He was articled to James Miller from 1907 to 1911 while attending classes at Glasgow School of Architecture. Thereafter he moved to become assistant and then chief draughtsman in his father's practice, then still known as Leiper & McNab despite his partner's retirement in 1909. Hamish spent a month travelling in Belgium and France in 1911. In 1915 he was called up for war service and served with the Royal Engineers, rising to the rank of Lieutenant by the time he was discharged in 1919. In 1927 his father took him into partnership and two years later he became a lecturer in Paisley College of Technology and School of Art. He was elected LRIBA in mid-1933, his proposers being James Miller, John Keppie and John Watson. He was also a member of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

His father died in December 1935, and Hamish continued the practice under the existing title of William Hunter McNab & Son; his brother William Leiper McNab, of whom no details are known, also worked in the family firm but never became a principal. The practice had very little architectural business after 1930. The office at 121 West George Street was also the studio of Hamish's sculptress wife, Florence Ida Mary Magee, and they supported themselves mainly by making garden statuary, craftwork and decorative work. In the late 1930s they had to downsize to the Aitken Studios at 551 Sauchiehall Street. McNab died at 216 West Regent Street on 21 April 1937 aged 46 years. From 1940 his wife practised from home.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 56, Drummond Gardens, Jordanhill, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1906After 1914 
Item 2 of 5121, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1911 *Late 1930s 
Item 3 of 533, Dudley Drive, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1933 *  
Item 4 of 510, Hamilton Drive, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate/businessBefore 1939After 1940Was business as well as private from 1939-1940
Item 5 of 5The Aitken Studio/551, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessLate 1930s1940 

* 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 5James Miller19071911Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5Leiper & McNab1911Before 1915Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Leiper & McNabAfter 19111915Chief Draughtsman 
Item 4 of 5William Hunter McNabAfter 19151926Chief Draughtsman 
Item 5 of 5W Hunter McNab & SonJanuary 19271935(?)Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3John KeppieMid 1933for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3James MillerMid 1933for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3John WatsonMid 1933for Licentiateship

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 21929Netherlee UF Church Hall  GlasgowScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 2 of 21929St Wolstans ChurchWest Kilbride AyrshireScotland 


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 Alfred G Lochhead; additional information (re: family and addresses from research by Iain Paterson
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L no 4254 (combined box 3; no works listed)