© All rights reserved. RIAS Quarterly no47 Autumn 1934 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Horace Arthur Rendel Govan
Designation: Architect
Born: 13 July 1908
Died: 24 September 1989
Bio Notes: Horace Arthur Rendel Govan was born on 13 July 1908, the son of Horace Govan, minister of the Congregational Church and his wife. He was articled to Lorimer & Matthew from 1927 to 1932, studying at Edinburgh College of Art. He studied full-time at the College from 1932 to 1935, during which period he was awarded two minor travelling scholarships which enabled him to visit Holland in July 1933 and Germany in July 1934. He obtained his diploma in June 1935, passed the Professional Practice exam the following month. He achieved the RIBA Distinction in Town Planning at some point about this time. In the summer of 1935 he was a temporary assistant to Lorimer & Matthew before taking up a one-year post-diploma scholarship in the College's Department of Civic Design. He was admitted on 2 December that year, his proposers being Begg, John Fraser Matthew and A Nicol Bruce, the then secretary of the RIAS. In his supporting statement, Matthew wrote that Govan had been 'particularly keen and anxious to do well' as an apprentice and had rendered 'valuable assistance' during his recent spell in his office.

Govan was also an Associate of the Edinburgh Architectural Association. He appears to have been a teacher at Edinburgh College in the late 1930s. His home address at that time was 22 Craig's Avenue where he may also have conducted a private practice. In 1948 he formed some kind of loose partnership with John Netherby Graham, or perhaps acted in an advisory role to Graham when Graham drew up his scheme for a Festival Centre for the Grassmarket. In 1956 he was elected ARIAS.

Govan moved to work for Sir Frank Mears & Partners sometime prior to 1969.

Govan had retired by January 1979 when he resigned his RIBA membership. He died at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on 24 September 1989, survived by his wife Margaret Reid Arthur and his son who lived in Gloucestershire.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 618, Ravelston Park, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1935 *  
Item 2 of 6Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 19381940 
Item 3 of 622, Craig's Avenue, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1939 *  
Item 4 of 61A, Hailes Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1950 *After 1955 
Item 5 of 646, Northumberland Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1964 *  
Item 6 of 6Glenrock/18, Glenlockhart Road, Edinburgh , ScotlandPrivateBefore 19701989 

* 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 3Lorimer & Matthew19271932Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Lorimer & MatthewJuly 1935August 1935Assistant 
Item 3 of 3(Sir) Frank Mears & Partnersc. 1969After 1975Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2John Begg2 December 1935for Associateship
Item 2 of 2John Fraser Matthew2 December 1935for 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 161948Festival Centre  EdinburghScotlandPerhaps acting as advisor to Graham.
Item 2 of 161950West Princes Street Gardens, Royal Scots Memorial  EdinburghScotland 
Item 3 of 161951Second Church of Christ Scientist  EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 16195370-78 Baker StreetStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 5 of 1619551, 3, 10 and 21 Broad StreetStirling StirlingshireScotlandCompletion
Item 6 of 161961White Horse Close  EdinburghScotlandRedevelopment
Item 7 of 161964Dalnottar CrematoriumClydebank DunbartonshireScotlandBuildings of Scotland attributes this to Rendel Govan rather than Robert Naismith.
Item 8 of 161964Whitehorse Close (Bishop Paterson's House)  EdinburghScotlandRestoration - unclear if in partnership at this date.
Item 9 of 161966Glasgow Public Halls  GlasgowScotlandReconstructed. Mitchell library extended and halls restored. Partner in charge.
Item 10 of 1619676 Salisbury Road  EdinburghScotlandNew hall and chapel
Item 11 of 161967Wester Hailes developmentWester Hailes EdinburghScotlandMinor role only - mainly Naismith responsible.
Item 12 of 161968Public LibraryInverkeithing FifeScotland 
Item 13 of 161969Caledonia Road UP ChurchHutchesontown GlasgowScotlandRepairs following fire.
Item 14 of 161969St Vincent Street UP Church  GlasgowScotlandRepairs and restoration
Item 15 of 16Before 1975Houses and flats Johnstone RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 16 of 16Before 1975Library and Arts CentreDalkeith MidlothianScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 6Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp9 Image of Baker Street redevelopment
Item 2 of 6Glendinning, Miles and Muthesius, Stefan1994Tower Block: Modern Public Housing in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland Yale University Press: New Haven and Londonp381, Gazetteer 2. Baker Street
Item 3 of 6Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  
Item 4 of 6Post Office Directories     
Item 5 of 6RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 6 of 6RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Official Architecture and PlanningApril 1954  p160-2 Baker Street
Item 2 of 2Scotsman1 September 1948   

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 3RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership  
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no5840 (combined box 103)


© All rights reserved. RIAS Quarterly no47 Autumn 1934 

© All rights reserved. RIAS Quarterly no47 Autumn 1934