Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||R J Walker & Smith |
|Designation: ||Architectural practice |
|Started: ||Before 1946 |
|Ended: || |
|Bio Notes: ||Robert Walker was born at Summerfield, Leith on 27 January 1867, the son of Robert Walker, provision merchant, and his wife Helen Chisholm. His middle name James was added later. He was brought up in Fife where he developed an interest in Scottish vernacular architecture from an early age. He studied at Glasgow School of Art in 1885-6 and exhibited as a painter at the Royal Glasgow Institute for the Fine Arts from 1892. He worked for James Miller c.1900, assisting with the design of the Canadian Pavilion for the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901. Soon thereafter he entered into partnership with Thomas Ramsay from John Hutchison's office. They won the competitions for The Wolverhampton Exhibition of 1902 and for Kirkintilloch Town Hall in 1904 and subsequently engaged in further competition work with notable success in those for the Scottish National Exhibitions in Edinburgh (1908) and Glasgow (1911). The practice was based at 123 Wellington Street. |
The success of the practice was not maintained after 1911 and in 1913 the partnership was dissolved. Walker worked independently from an office at 108 Douglas Street, Blythswood Square, Glasgow from that year, practising mainly as an artist but Thomas Charles Hardy had already joined him as an assistant in May 1913. Hardy had been born at 31 Annette Street, Govanhill on 27 December 1890, the son of Thomas Hardy, hotel porter and his wife Elizabeth Thompson. He had been articled to James Miller of Glasgow in November 1905, remaining as an assistant until September 1912. During this period and for two further years thereafter he attended classes at the Royal Technical College and Glasgow School of Art. His career was interrupted by military service from February 1917 to 1919, but he returned to Walker's office on his demobilisation. He was admitted ARIBA under the war exemption scheme in late 1920, his proposers being Miller, John Watson and David Salmond. He then went to work in the United States returning to Scotland in 1925 and became an 'assistant with a Glasgow firm' (perhaps meaning a return to Walker's office?)
Walker later took Hardy into partnership, although it has yet to be established whether this took place before or at the same time as the change of the firm's name to R J Walker, Hardy & Smith, which occurred in March 1931 when Walker's chief assistant David Reekie Smith was also taken into partnership. (Hardy's RIBA obituary claims that he was taken into partnership in 1934.) Smith had been born on 13 December 1904 and had been articled to Walker in January 1919, studying at Glasgow High School and Glasgow School of Architecture. On completion of his apprenticeship in January 1924 he had remained with Walker as a draughtsman, later becoming chief assistant. He had received his certificate from the Glasgow School of Architecture in June 1930. Smith passed the final exam in Edinburgh in December 1931 and was admitted ARIBA early the following year, his proposers being Thomas Harold Hughes, John Watson and David Salmond.
Walker moved to Greenvale, Fintry, in 1938, an event which probably marked his retirement from architecture. The practice of R J Walker, Hardy & Smith continued until 1939, based in Walker's office at 108 Douglas Street, Blythswood Square, Glasgow. After the Second World War it continued as R J Walker & Smith.
(NB: Jobs for R J Walker, Hardy & Smith have been entered on assumption that all partners were involved, but very little is known of any of them, and it is possible that some were retired or deceased at the time.)
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|Suite 8A, Whitecrook Business Centre, Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, Scotland||Business|| || || |
|108, Douglas Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1946 *|| ||At this address July 1948|
|Douglas Street, Blythswood Square, Glasgow, Scotland|| ||1950|| || |
|180, West Regent Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1950 *||After 1981|| |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Employees or Pupils
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architectural practice:|
|RIBA||1950||The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects|| |
|RIBA||1981||Directory of Practices 1981|| || || |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Builder||28 April 1950|| || ||p570|
|Builder||19 May 1950|| || ||p692|
|Builder||7 July 1950|| || ||p45|
|Builder||5 October 1951|| || ||p468|
|Builder||8 June 1951|| || ||p837|